Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Quote verification?

Last week at the APS, Lars Samuelson closed his nano-related talk with the following quote, reportedly from Albert Einstein: "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction." Can anyone tell me the primary source of this quote, and whether it's legitimate? I've googled a bit, and all I've found are lists of quotes that appear to have circulated online since the mid 1990s, with no primary source attribution. Since a number of fake quotes propagate online, I want to check this one out. Thanks....


Incoherent Ponderer said...

Look at books.google.com:


I would be real careful with Einstein quotes - there is so many misattributions! If you are not sure who the author of some quote is, tell the audience it was Einstein (or someone similarly smart) who said it.

It appears that the quote is attributed both to Einstein and E.F. Schumacher. In all likelihood it was the latter.

Dan M said...

To provide a few potentially relevant quotations:

"Quotation, n: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another" - Ambrose Bierce, somebody famous

"People will accept your ideas much more readily if you tell them Benjamin Franklin said it first." - David H. Comins, somebody nobody has ever heard of

Doug Natelson said...

Google vote tally: when searching on '"any intelligent fool" einstein', google turns up 38500 hits. When searching on '"any intelligent fool" schumacher', google turns up 590 hits. I suspect the Schumacher origin is correct. I came upon an interview transcript with an ecology group where he uses a similar turn of phrase, though not that exact one.

Bernard said...

Nah. As anyone knows, if it's a worthwhile quote, it came from Mark Twain.

Or William Shakespeare. Could be Shakespeare.


Beth said...

Or Oscar Wilde.

Mike Bethany said...

I believe it was Aristotle who said, "Google is never wrong. Don't believe me? Look it up on Wikipedia."

rajuda said...

I guess, it makes far more sense to attribute that quote to Michael Schumacher the German Formula One racing driver and seven-time World Champion.

j said...

It was E.F. Schumacher. Primary source here:

ranveer singh said...

wonderful information, I had come to know about your blog from my friend nandu , hyderabad,i have read atleast 7 posts of yours by now, and let me tell you, your website gives the best and the most interesting information. This is just the kind of information that i had been looking for, i'm already your rss reader now and i would regularly watch out for the new posts, once again hats off to you! Thanks a ton once again, Regards, winnie the pooh quotes

toko furniture jepara said...

amazing post,, Thank you for presenting a wide variety of information that is very interesting to see in this artikle

karimun jawa
and mebel jepara
or furniture jepara
and tenun jepara

tenun bali said...

article from a very amazing, Good Job, Thank you for presenting a wide variety of information that is very interesting to see in this artikle

tempat tidur minimalis
ranjang tidur anak
tempat tidur terbaru
tempat tidur
ranjang tidur jati
luxury bed sets
bed models italian
tempat tidur tingkat
tempat tidur hello kitty
tempat tidur anak bertingkat
set kamar tidur jati
set bed bayi
tempat tidur anak minimalis
set tempat tidur bayi
kamar set modern
tempat tidur coklat
dipan rahwana jati
kamar set mewah jati
kamar mewah italian
kamr set mewah model terbaru
set tempat tidur minimalis
tempat tidur minimalis
tempat tidur mewah
tempat tidur anak
kamar set mewah
meja kantor direktur
meja kantor presiden
kursi kantor ukiran
meja kantor jati
meja kantor mewah
meja kantor

Anonymous said...

Read your favorite quotes by clicking the link below
its a mobile friendly website , made in latest technology
Love Quotes-
Life Quotes-
Inspirational Quotes-
Friendship Quotes-
Funny Quotes-
Motivational Quotes-
Happiness Quotes-
Good Quotes-
Cute Quotes-
Positive Quotes-
Quote Of The Day