Good scientists expect that their students will exceed them. Although the academic system gives a successful scientist many reasons to believe in his or her own authority, any good scientist knows that the minute you succumb to believing that you know more than your best students, you cease to be a scientist.

-Lee Smolin


Bilingual Paradox

“est une expression qui, quand elle est précédé de sa traduction, mise entre guillemets, dans la langue provenant de l’autre côté de la Manche, crée une fausseté” is an expression which when it is preceded by its translation, placed in quotation marks, into the language originating on the other side of the channel, yields a falsehood.

-Sentence from Douglas Hofstadter’s book: Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. Can you spot the self-referential? Oui, bien sûr.

Still Looking

Behind it all is surely an idea so simple, so beautiful, that when we grasp it — in a decade, a century, or a millennium — we will all say to each other, how could it have been otherwise? How could we have been so stupid for so long?

-John Archibald Wheeler