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List of quotes

Some of my favorite quotes that stuck with me forever. Alphabetical, does not include song lyrics.


  • Ethics is informal politics. (own)
  • Everything before the word “but” is bullshit.
  • I don’t believe in zero-sum games. (Scott Alexander)
  • I think it’s really important to not have an opinion on things you don’t know much about. (Yi Sun)
  • People only exist when you need them.


  • If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. (George Orwell)
  • It is better to be technically elegant with a higher learning curve, than to be easy to use, and technically crap. (Aaron Griffin)
  • Measured simply by numbers of users, the current leaders [in almost any field] will be mostly mediocre. Look at Windows. (Paul Graham)
  • Perfect is the enemy of good enough.
  • Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.


  • Ask for forgiveness, not permission.
  • Nobody should start to undertake a large project. You start with a small trivial project, and you should never expect it to get large. (Linus Torvalds)
  • Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. (recounted by Dwight Eisenhower)
  • Practice energy management, not time management.
  • The most competent people, with weak processes, will screw up. (Chris Peterson)


  • If I could give my younger self one piece of advice, I wouldn’t say anything. (Eric Lander, paraphrased1)
  • I told him that he cannot see the future because there’s nothing there to see; it hasn’t been built, yet. The future is something that emerges as we build it, even as we are thrown into it. (Chris Peterson)
  • Talk is cheap. Show me the code. (Linus Torvalds)
  • You only need other people to give you advice that surprises you. That’s why there are a lot of ski instructors and not many running instructors. (Paul Graham)


  • I mean … like… like, many people sometimes tell me, you should finish StarCraft 2, you should retire. And maybe, you should give up… But look at me now. (Oliveira after winning IEM Katowice 2023)

I suppose if we couldn't laugh at things that don't make sense,
we couldn't react to a lot of life.

  1. From the USAMO 2021 awards ceremony. 

Updated Tue 14 Feb 2023, 05:53:05 UTC by b5cd3ec43d4d