Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Cure Of All Disease

We all labour against our own cure; for death is the cure of all disease.

-- Thomas Browne, Religio Medici (1642), Part II, Section IX

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Eroom's Law

R&D efficiency, measured simply in terms of the number of new drugs brought to market by the global biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries per billion US dollars of R&D spending, has declined fairly steadily.  We call this trend "Eroom's Law", in contrast to the more familiar Moore's Law ("Eroom's Law" is "Moore's Law" backwards).  Moore's Law is a term that was coined to describe the exponential increase in the number of transistors that can be placed at a reasonable cost onto an integrated circuit.  This number doubled every 2 years from the 1970s to 2010.  The term is used more generally for technologies that improve exponentially over time.  The data in Fig. 1a show that the number of new US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs per billion US dollars of R&D spending in the drug industry has halved approximately every 9 years
since 1950, in inflation-adjusted terms.

-- Jack W. Scannell, et al., "Diagnosing the decline in pharmaceutical R&D efficiency," Nature, 1 March 2012

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Conversation

 A conversation isn't a competition.

-- Barbara Walters (1929-), American media personality, How to Talk With Practically Anybody About Practically Anything (1970)

Monday, October 26, 2015

I Have No Feeling

I have no feeling for the electorate anymore.  It is not responding the way it used to.  Their priorities are so different that if I tried to analyze it I'd be making it up.

-- John H. Sununu, chief of staff for the first President George Bush, on his confusion with the rise of Donald J. Trump and the struggles of Jeb Bush, New York Times, 25 October 2015

Friday, October 23, 2015

Want Least To Do

In any ethical situation, the thing you want least to do is probably the right action.

-- Jerry Eugene Pournelle (1933-), American essayist, journalist, and science fiction author, Lucifer's Hammer (1985), with Larry Niven

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Danger: Volatile Explosives

Humans hate to admit error even as they stand there, black and smoldering, with the stub of a cigarette in one hand, in the middle of a wide crater containing them and the remains of a sign that once read "DANGER: VOLATILE EXPLOSIVES".

-- James Nicoll (1961-), Canadian freelance game and speculative fiction reviewer, Usenet article (2005)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Moore's Law Of Mad Science

Moore's Law of Mad Science: Every eighteen months, the minimum IQ necessary to destroy the world drops by one point.

-- Eliezer Yudkowsky (1979-), American artificial intelligence researcher

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Moral Passion

Art is a moral passion married to entertainment.  Moral passion without entertainment is propaganda, and entertainment without moral passion is television.

-- Rita Mae Brown (1944-), American writer, Starting From Scratch (1988)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Apple Earth

If an apple was magnified to the size of the Earth, then the atoms in the apple would be approximately the size of the original apple.

-- Richard Feynman, (1918 - 1988), American physicist, The Feynman Lectures on Physics (1964), volume I; lecture 1, "Atoms in Motion"; section 1-2, "Matter is made of atoms"; p. 1-3

Friday, October 16, 2015


Learn diligence before speedy execution.

-- Leonardo da Vinci (1452 - 1519), Advice For The Young Painter

Thursday, October 15, 2015


Do I consider myself part of the casino capitalist process by which so few have so much and so many have so little by which Wall Street's greed and recklessness wrecked this economy?  No, I don't.  I believe in a society where all people do well.  Not just a handful of billionaires.

-- Bernie Sanders, asked by Anderson Cooper whether he considers himself a capitalist, during the Democratic debate, 13 October 2015

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Very Disappointed

Don't get me wrong, 12-year-old me is very disappointed in current me.  But it's the right thing to do.

-- Cory Jones, a top editor at Playboy, on the magazine's decision to dispense with nudity, for cultural and business reasons, New York Times, 13 October 2015

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Take One For The Team

He needs to do this for the team, that's what we are all telling him.

-- Representative Fred Upton (R-MI), on calls for Representative Paul D. Ryan to run for speaker of the House, New York Times, 10 October 2015

Monday, October 12, 2015


Every human being on this earth is born with a tragedy, and it isn't original sin. He's born with the tragedy that he has to grow up. That he has to leave the nest, the security, and go out to do battle. He has to lose everything that is lovely and fight for a new loveliness of his own making, and it's a tragedy. A lot of people don't have the courage to do it.

-- Helen Hayes (1900 - 1993), American actress; one of few people to have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award; Showcase (1966) by Roy Newquist

Friday, October 09, 2015

Not To Be Able To Stop

Not to be able to stop thinking is a dreadful affliction, but we don't realize this because almost everyone is suffering from it, so it is considered normal.  This incessant mental noise prevents you from finding that realm of inner stillness that is inseparable from Being.

-- Eckhart Tolle (1948-), German / Canadian motivational speaker, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (1997)

Thursday, October 08, 2015

In Better Shape

I thought I was in better shape.

-- Don Pellmann, age 100, who set five world records at the San Diego Senior Games, but fell short in the pole vault, dislodging the bar three times, New York Times, 22 September 2015

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Bottle Of Milk

You don't just go buy a bottle of milk and suddenly the supermarket charges you $100.

-- Gail Mayer, whose monthly supply of the diabetes pill Glumetza went from $519.92 in May to $4,643 in August, New York Times, 5 October 2015

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

All The People Who Scare Us

We can't round up all the people who scare us.

-- James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University, on the difficulty of using a particular profile in efforts to prevent mass shootings, New York Times, 4 October 2015

Monday, October 05, 2015

Taking The Long View

Papa Hegel he say that all we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.  *I* know people who can't even learn from what happened this morning.  Hegel must have been taking the long view.

-- John Kilian Houston Brunner (1934 - 1995), science fiction author, Stand on Zanzibar (1968)

Friday, October 02, 2015


The misuse of the word "exponentially" has increased dramatically.

-- Tweet by B. J. Novak (@bjnovak), 18 July 2014

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Can You Hear Me Now?

Can you hear me now?

-- First tweet by Edward Snowden (@Snowden), 11:00AM 29 September 2015; Snowden acquired >1M followers within 24 hours