quote by Norbert Wiener

A single inattention may lose a chess game, whereas a single successful approach to a problem, among many which have been relegated to the wastebasket, will make a mathematician's reputation.

— Norbert Wiener

Colorful Wastebasket quotations

If someone gives me a to-do list, I say 'thank you, this is nice.

' One needs things to throw in the wastebasket.


The knocking out of a pipe can be made almost as important as the smoking of it, especially if there are nervous people in the room. A good, smart knock of a pipe against a tin wastebasket and you will have a neurasthenic out of his chair and into the window sash in no time.

Meaningful Wastebasket quotes
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I know as a writer how valuable a tool is the wastebasket.

Perhaps God throws away many experiments before He finds the right expression. Perhaps we are the discards - or we could be the part He keeps. This mystery is what keeps us all going, to see what happens in the next chapter.

You know you’re writing well when you're throwing good stuff into the wastebasket.

Marriage is the wastebasket for human emotions.


A ratio of failures is built into the process of writing. The wastebasket has evolved for a reason.

Small wastebasket liners, $1.17 ... tall wastebasket liners, $2.29 ... garbage can liners, $3.98 ... I think I just spent $7.44 buying something I'm going to throw away.

The woman that comes in, takes the wastebasket away, she's paying 15.

3 or whatever it is on payroll tax alone. I mean it is - I never had it so good.

As you see, I bear some resentment and some scars from the years of anti-genre bigotry. My own fiction, which moves freely around among realism, magical realism, science fiction, fantasy of various kinds, historical fiction, young adult fiction, parable, and other subgenres, to the point where much of it is ungenrifiable, all got shoved into the Sci Fi wastebasket or labeled as kiddilit - subliterature.

I make it a practice to avoid hating anyone.

If someones been guilty of despicable actions, especially toward me, I try to forget him. I used to follow a practicesomewhat contrived, I admitto write the mans name on a piece of scrap paper, drop it into the lowest drawer of my desk, and say to myself: That finishes the incident, and so far as Im concerned, that fellow. The drawer became over the years a sort of private wastebasket for crumbled-up spite and discarded personalities.


Someone once threw me a small, brown, hairy kiwi fruit, and I threw a wastebasket over it until it was dead.

I told the students that whatever they did in class was for the wastebasket.

They [Goverment] take from the woman who comes in and takes the wastebaskets out.

There were moments ... when it seemed that all one could be asked was just to keep the ashtrays clean, the bed made, the wastebaskets emptied, as if one never got to the real things because of the constant exhausting battle to keep ordinary life from falling apart.

Hollywood is like an empty wastebasket.


A ratio of failures is built into the process of writing.

The wastebasket has evolved for a reason. Think of it as the altar of the Muse Oblivion, to whom you sacrifice your botched first drafts, the tokens of your human imperfection.

When the typewriter stops in a New York office everybody's embarrassed;

men start to quarrel or to make love to the stenographer or drop lighted cigarettes in the wastebasket.

I love to tell how I'm suffering because one percent we're paying 25 percent of the total. We're not paying 25 percent of the total taxes on individuals. We're paying maybe 25 percent of the income tax, but the payroll tax is over a third of the receipts of the federal government. And they don't take that from me on capital gains. They don't take that from me on dividends. They take from the woman who comes in and takes the wastebaskets out.

One applauds the industry of professional philanthropy.

But it has its dangers. After a while the private heart begins to harden. We fling letters into the wastebasket, are abrupt to telephoned solicitations. Charity withers in the incessant gale.

Merv Griffin, who developed Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, had a great line once. I used to personally answer all the mail that came in to Jeopardy! whether it was favorable or unfavorable, and Merv said, You know how I handle the nasty mail? I said no. He just grabbed it and folded it up and crunched it up and threw it in the wastebasket. He said, I don't bother with it.


Next to the dog, the wastebasket is your best friend.

Oh, I've discarded a great many [poems].

And occasionally I've discarded and then resurrected. I would find a crumpled yellow ball of paper in the wastebasket, in the morning, and open it to see what the hell I'd been up to; and occasionally it was something that needed only a very slight change to be brought off, which I'd missed the day before.

My general working style is to write everything first with pencil and paper, sitting beside a big wastebasket. Then I use Emacs to enter the text into my machine.

The most important tool of the theoretical physicist is his wastebasket.

Photographers undervalue the use of a wastebasket in their pursuit of fine photography.


A student brings something to discuss, saying, "I don't know whether this is really good, or whether I should throw it in the wastebasket." The assumption is that one or the other choice is the right move. No. Almost everything we say or think or do - or write - comes in that spacious human area bounded by something this side of the sublime and something above the unforgivable.

When a man sends you an impudent letter, sit right down and give it back to him with interest ten times compounded, and then throw both letters in the wastebasket.

The physicist's greatest tool is his wastebasket.

Elvis!" Min shoved herself off the couch to shoo him away.

"Stay away from there. There's broken glass." "He did that on purpose," David said, outraged. "Yes, David, the cat is plotting against you." Min fished the base out of the water and glass shards and put it on the table. Then she went to get her wastebasket and began to put the glass pieces in it.