Invention Quotes

Quotes tagged as "invention" Showing 1-30 of 277
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”
Kurt Vonnegut, If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young

George Carlin
“The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.”
George Carlin

Nikola Tesla
“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.”
Nikola Tesla

Sun Tzu
“There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.

There are not more than five primary colours, yet in combination
they produce more hues than can ever been seen.

There are not more than five cardinal tastes, yet combinations of
them yield more flavours than can ever be tasted.”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Arthur Conan Doyle
“Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.”
Arthur Conan Doyle, A Case of Identity - a Sherlock Holmes Short Story

Thomas A. Edison
“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”
Thomas A. Edison

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
“Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos.”
Mary Shelly

Christopher Hitchens
“Thus, though I dislike to differ with such a great man, Voltaire was simply ludicrous when he said that if god did not exist it would be necessary to invent him. The human invention of god is the problem to begin with.”
Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

Agatha Christie
“I don't think necessity is the mother of invention. Invention . . . arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness. To save oneself trouble.”
Agatha Christie, Agatha Christie: An Autobiography

J.K. Rowling
“Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and, therefore, the foundation of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.”
J.K. Rowling

Ayn Rand
“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the response they received — hatred. The great creators — the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors — stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. Every great new invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won.”
Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

Elbert Hubbard
“The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.”
Elbert Hubbard

Akira Kurosawa
“People today have forgotten they're really just a part of nature. Yet, they destroy the nature on which our lives depend. They always think they can make something better. Especially scientists. They may be smart, but most don't understand the heart of nature. They only invent things that, in the end, make people unhappy. Yet they're so proud of their inventions. What's worse, most people are, too. They view them as if they were miracles. They worship them. They don't know it, but they're losing nature. They don't see that they're going to perish. The most important things for human beings are clean air and clean water.”
Akira Kurosawa, Yume

Archimedes
“Give me but a firm spot on which to stand, and I shall move the earth.”
Archimedes, The Works of Archimedes

H.G. Wells
“We are kept keen on the grindstone of pain and necessity.”
H.G. Wells, The Time Machine

Diane Setterfield
“When one is nothing, one invents. It fills a void.”
Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

Robert A. Heinlein
“Progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things.”
Robert A. Heinlein

L. Frank Baum
“Imagination has brought mankind through the Dark Ages to its present state of civilization. Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity. Imagination has given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine and the automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before they became realities. So I believe that dreams - day dreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain-machinery whizzing - are likely to lead to the betterment of the world. The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization.”
L. Frank Baum, The Lost Princess of Oz

John  Adams
“It was the general opinion of ancient nations, that the divinity alone was adequate to the important office of giving laws to men... and modern nations, in the consecrations of kings, and in several superstitious chimeras of divine rights in princes and nobles, are nearly unanimous in preserving remnants of it... Is the jealousy of power, and the envy of superiority, so strong in all men, that no considerations of public or private utility are sufficient to engage their submission to rules for their own happiness? Or is the disposition to imposture so prevalent in men of experience, that their private views of ambition and avarice can be accomplished only by artifice? — … There is nothing in which mankind have been more unanimous; yet nothing can be inferred from it more than this, that the multitude have always been credulous, and the few artful. The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature: and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had any interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of heaven, any more than those at work upon ships or houses, or labouring in merchandize or agriculture: it will for ever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses. As Copley painted Chatham, West, Wolf, and Trumbull, Warren and Montgomery; as Dwight, Barlow, Trumbull, and Humphries composed their verse, and Belknap and Ramzay history; as Godfrey invented his quadrant, and Rittenhouse his planetarium; as Boylston practised inoculation, and Franklin electricity; as Paine exposed the mistakes of Raynal, and Jefferson those of Buffon, so unphilosophically borrowed from the Recherches Philosophiques sur les Américains those despicable dreams of de Pauw — neither the people, nor their conventions, committees, or sub-committees, considered legislation in any other light than ordinary arts and sciences, only as of more importance. Called without expectation, and compelled without previous inclination, though undoubtedly at the best period of time both for England and America, to erect suddenly new systems of laws for their future government, they adopted the method of a wise architect, in erecting a new palace for the residence of his sovereign. They determined to consult Vitruvius, Palladio, and all other writers of reputation in the art; to examine the most celebrated buildings, whether they remain entire or in ruins; compare these with the principles of writers; and enquire how far both the theories and models were founded in nature, or created by fancy: and, when this should be done, as far as their circumstances would allow, to adopt the advantages, and reject the inconveniences, of all. Unembarrassed by attachments to noble families, hereditary lines and successions, or any considerations of royal blood, even the pious mystery of holy oil had no more influence than that other of holy water: the people universally were too enlightened to be imposed on by artifice; and their leaders, or more properly followers, were men of too much honour to attempt it. Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favour of the rights of mankind.

[Preface to 'A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States of America', 1787]”
John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America: Akashic U.S. Presidents Series

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“People who smile while they are alone used to be called insane, until we invented smartphones and social media.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Nikola Tesla
“The progressive development of man is vitally dependent on invention. It is the most important product of his creative brain.”
Nikola Tesla, My Inventions

Tennessee Williams
“It is only in his work that an artist can find reality and satisfaction, for the actual world is less intense than the world of his invention and consequently his life, without recourse to violent disorder, does not seem very substantial. The right condition for him is that in which his work in not only convenient but unavoidable.”
Tenessee Williams

Virginia Woolf
“Well, I’ve had my fun; I’ve had it, he thought, looking up at the swinging baskets of pale geraniums. And it was smashed to atoms—his fun, for it was half made up, as he knew very well; invented, this escapade with the girl; made up, as one makes up the better part of life, he thought—making onself up; making her up; creating an exquisite amusement, and something more. But odd it was, and quite true; all this one could never share—it smashed to atoms.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

Frances Hodgson Burnett
“She liked books more than anything else, and was, in fact, always inventing stories of beautiful things and telling them to herself.”
Frances Hodgson Burnett

Dava Sobel
“He wrested the world's whereabouts from the stars, and locked the secret in a pocket watch.”
Dava Sobel, Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time

“Photography is essentially an act of recognition by street photographers, not an act of invention. Photographers might respond to an old man’s face, or an Arbus freak, or the way light hits a building—and then they move on. Whereas in all the other art forms, take William Blake, everything that came to that paper never existed before. It’s the idea of alchemy, of making something from nothing.”
Duane Michals

Humphrey Carpenter
“You call a star a star, and say it is just a ball of matter moving on a mathematical course. But that is merely how you see it. By so naming things and describing them you are only inventing your own terms about them. And just as speech is invention about objects and ideas, so myth is invention about truth.”
Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography

Criss Jami
“The first reaction is surely the most natural one, but not always the most correct one; thereupon, the invention of apologies.”
Criss Jami, Healology

Alexander Graham Bell
“Mr. Watson — Come here — I want to see you.

[First intelligible words spoken over the telephone]”
Alexander Graham Bell

Israelmore Ayivor
“You were saved not by work, but for work. Do it till all is done. By your Inventions, Innovations, Initiatives, Improvements, Involvements, Imaginations, Information, Interventions and Inspirations... Go the extra mile and dare to do it.”
Israelmore Ayivor

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