Man has always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much – the wheel, New York, wars and so on – while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time.
But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man for precisely the same reason.” – Douglas Noel Adams
The day after Edison died, the New York Times contained extensive coverage of Edison's life, with the only negative opinion coming from Tesla who was quoted as saying:
“He had no hobby, cared for no sort of amusement of any kind and lived in utter disregard of the most elementary rules of hygiene” and that, “His method was inefficient in the extreme, for an immense ground had to be covered to get anything at all unless blind chance intervened and, at first, I was almost a sorry witness of his doings, knowing that just a little theory and calculation would have saved him 90% of the labour. But he had a veritable contempt for book learning and mathematical knowledge, trusting himself entirely to his inventor's instinct and practical American sense.”
The Chancellor Who Agreed To Play Spy, New York Times – May 8, 1974
New York Times Magazine (Apr. 21, 2013) has a fantastic spread on him, and it made me think of my favorite quote of all.
Cited by Jenna Wortham in her article for The New York Times, When the Web’s Chaos Takes an Ugly Turn
I apologize for it not being motivational or anything; it's just a really exceptional opening line to a novel.
The list of favourite quotes from Douglas Adams books. Mostly from Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy series . Enjoy :
1.“In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”
2.“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.“
3.“Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”
“The major problem — one of the major problems, for there are several — one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.
To summarize: it is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.
To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.
To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.”
4. “A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”
5. “Arthur Dent awoke and immediately regretted it.”
6.“Man has always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much…the wheel, New York, wars and so on…while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man…for precisely the same reason.”
7.“There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.“
8.“And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, ….”
10.The Babel fish is small, yellow and leech-like, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy received not from its own carrier but from those around it, It absorbs all unconscious mental frequencies from this brainwave energy to nourish itself with. the practical upshot of this is that if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any language.
Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God. The argument goes like this : “I refuse to prove that I exist”, says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.”
“But”, says Man, “the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn’t it? it could not have evolved by chance. it proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED.”
“Oh dear”, says God, “I hadn’t thought of that,” and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
“Oh that was easy” says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.
Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.