Latest Quotes

Belief in Impossible Things

There is probably no job on earth for which an ability to believe six impossible things before breakfast is more of a requirement than software project management. We are routinely expected to work ourselves into a state of believing in a deadline, a budget, or a performance factor that time subsequently may prove to be impossible.

Thinking's a Dizzy Business

Nobody thinks clearly, no matter what they pretend. Thinking's a dizzy business, a matter of catching as many of those foggy glimpses as you can and fitting them together the best you can. That's why people hang on so tight to their beliefs and opinions; because, compared to the haphazard way in which they're arrived at, even the goofiest opinion seems wonderfully clear, sane and self-evident. And if you let it get away from you, then you've got to dive back into that foggy muddle to wrangle yourself out another to take its place.

Down These Mean Streets

Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. If there were enough like him, I think the world would be a very safe place to live in, and yet not too dull to be worth living in.

Vital and Significant Forms of Art

Nor is it any part of my thesis to maintain that it [the detective story] is a vital and significant form of art. There are no vital and significant forms of art; there is only art, and precious little of that. The growth of populations has in no way increased the amount; it has merely increased the adeptness with which substitutes can be produced and packaged.

Small and Obscure Deeds

Of all the will toward the ideal in mankind only a small part can manifest itself in public action. All the rest of this force must be content with small and obscure deeds. The sum of these, however, is a thousand times stronger than the acts of those who receive wide public recognition. The latter, compared to the former, are like the foam on the waves of a deep ocean.

Changing the World

Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

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A Nation of Evangelists

We are, in fact, a nation of evangelists; every third American devotes himself to improving and lifting up his fellow citizens, usually by force; the messianic delusion is our national disease.

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