The World Didn’t End

Sunday, May 22, 2011 – The World Didn’t End

Because of recent improvements in the accuracy of theoretical predictions based on large scale ab initio quantum mechanical calculations, meaningful comparisons between theoretical and experimental findings have become possible. ~ Yuan T. Lee

I figure lots of predictions is best. People will forget the ones I get wrong and marvel over the rest. ~ Alan Cox

If you learn one thing from having lived through decades of changing views, it is that all predictions are necessarily false. ~ M. H. Abrams

Never make predictions, especially about the future. ~ Casey Stengel

A self-fulfilling prophecy is an assumption or prediction that, purely as a result of having been made, causes the expected or predicted event to occur and thus confirms its own “accuracy.” ~ Paul Watzlawick

I shall go further and say that even if an examination of the past could lead to any valid prediction concerning man’s future, that prediction would be the contrary of reassuring. ~ Julien Benda

Occurrences in this domain are beyond the reach of exact prediction because of the variety of factors in operation, not because of any lack of order in nature. ~ Albert Einstein

Predictions of the future are never anything but projections of present automatic processes and procedures, that is, of occurrences that are likely to come to pass if men do not act and if nothing unexpected happens; every action, for better or worse, and every accident necessarily destroys the whole pattern in whose frame the prediction moves and where it finds its evidence. ~ Hannah Arendt

The Brahmins say that in their books there are many predictions of times in which it will rain. But press those books as strongly as you can, you cannot get out of them a drop of water. So you can not get out of all the books that contain the best precepts the smallest good deed. ~ Tolstoy

I think there is a world market for maybe five computers. ~ Thomas Watson (1874-1956), Chairman of IBM, 1943

Who the hell wants to hear actors talk? ~ H. M. Warner (1881-1958), founder of Warner Brothers, in 1927

Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible. ~ Lord Kelvin, President, Royal Society, 1895

Everything that can be invented has been invented. ~ Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899

There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home. ~ Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977

This “telephone” has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” ~ Western Union internal memo, 1876

The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular? ~ David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s

I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling on his face and not Gary Cooper.” ~ Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in “Gone with the Wind.”

All attempts at artificial aviation are not only dangerous to life but doomed to failure from an engineering standpoint. ~ Editor of The Times’ of London, 1905

Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction. ~ Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872

We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out. ~ Decca Recording Company. rejecting the Beatles, 1962

I confess that in 1901, I said to my brother Orville that man would not fly for fifty years… Ever since, I have distrusted myself and avoided all predictions.” ~ Wilbur Wright, 1908

Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value ~ Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre

You would make a ship sail against the winds and currents by lighting a bonfire under her deck… I have no time for such nonsense. ~ Napoleon, commenting on Fulton’s Steamship

Within the next few decades, autos will have folding wings that can be spread when on a straight stretch of road so that the machine can take to the air.” ~ Eddie Rickenbacker, Popular Science, July 1924

No one can possibly know what is about to happen: it is happening, each time, for the first time, for the only time. – James Baldwin

He who asks fortune-tellers the future unwittingly forfeits an inner intimation of coming events that is a thousand times more exact than anything they may say. He is impelled by inertia, rather than curiosity, and nothing is more unlike the submissive apathy with which he hears his fate revealed than the alert dexterity with which the man of courage lays hands on the future. ~ Walter Benjamin

Legends of prediction are common throughout the whole Household of Man. Gods speak, spirits speak, computers speak. Oracular ambiguity or statistical probability provides loopholes, and discrepancies are expunged by Faith. ~ Ursula K. Le Guin

The unpredictability inherent in human affairs is due largely to the fact that the by-products of a human process are more fateful than the product. ~ Eric Hoffer

I think predictability has become the rule and I’m completely the opposite – I like spectators to be disturbed. ~ Louis Malle

Prophecy: Two bull’s eyes out of a possible million. ~ Mark Twain

Among all forms of mistake, prophecy is the most gratuitous. ~ George Eliot

There exists a species of transcendental ventriloquism by means of which men can be made to believe that something said on earth comes from Heaven. ~ Georg C. Lichtenberg

Fear prophets and those prepared to die for the truth, for as a rule they make many others die with them, often before them, at times instead of them. ~ Umberto Eco

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