4/02/2011

Best Einstein Quotes Ever


For a man who reputedly didn't start talking until he was 3 years old, Einstein made up for the late start with a dozens of richly insightful observations about science, learning, and life.  Here are some of my favorites, organized (for lack of a better system) alphabetically.   
  1. A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.
  2. A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeeded be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
  3. Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction.
  4. "Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves."
  5. "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."
  6. As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
  7. Black holes are where God divided by zero.
  8. Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous.
  9. Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.
  10. Creativity is intelligence having fun.
  11. Creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.
  12. Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.
  13. Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
  14. Everything must be made as simple as possible. But not simpler.
  15. God does not play dice with the universe.
  16. God is subtle but he is not malicious.
  17. Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
  18. I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.
  19. I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
  20. I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.
  21. I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details.
  22. If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?
  23. If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut.
  24. If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.
  25. If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.
  26. If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.
  27. If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
  28. Imagination is more important than knowledge.
  29. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
  30. Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.
  31. Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them
  32. It is not that I'm so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.
  33. Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.
  34. Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.
  35. Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.
  36. Love is a better master than duty.
  37. Never memorize something that you can look up.
  38. Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.
  39. Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.
  40. Out of clutter, find simplicity.
  41. Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.
  42. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.
  43. Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
  44. Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it.
  45. Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
  46. The best way to cheer yourself is to cheer somebody else up.
  47. The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has its limits.
  48. The path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.
  49. The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
  50. The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.
  51. The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious - the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.
  52. The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.
  53. The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.
  54. The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.
  55. The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who let evil happen without doing anything.
  56. There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
  57. Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.
  58. Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.
  59. Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth
  60. Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.
  61. What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.
  62. When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity.
  63. When you trip over love, it is easy to get up. But when you fall in love, it is impossible to stand again.
  64. Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.
  65. You never fail until you stop trying.
(I've gathered these from various sources, some more reputable than others, so can't/won't vouch for their veracity.  However, they all certainly sound like things Einstein would say!)

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