Some quotes related to computers and learning

Here are some quotes I’ve collected. The first are related to computers and programming, and the second ones are more related to learning or other general issues.

Computers are good at following instructions, but not at reading your mind.

Donald Knuth

These machines have no common sense; they have not yet learned to “think,”
and they do exactly as they are told, no more and no less. This fact is
the hardest concept to grasp when one first tries to use a computer.

Donald Knuth

That’s the thing about people who think they hate computers. What they really
hate is lousy programmers.

Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle Oath of Fealty

There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, any programming
language in which it is the least bit difficult to write bad code.

Flon’s Law

Organizations which design systems are constrained to produce designs which are
copies of the communication structures of these organizations.

Conway’s Law (For example, if you have four groups working on a compiler,
you’ll get a 4-pass compiler)

And quotes related to learning and design:

Learning is not compulsory. Neither is survival.

W. Edwards Deming

What I cannot create, I do not understand.

Richard Feynman

I am always ready to learn, but I do not always like being taught.

Sir Winston Churchill

The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.

Albert Einstein

Perhaps my favorite quote is this one. It is like an engineer’s credo, of sorts:

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

George Bernard Shaw

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Posted in programming, theory
Doug Holton

Doug Holton

Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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