Quotes About Numbers

Quotes tagged as "numbers" (showing 1-30 of 98)
Don DeLillo
“When I read obituaries I always note the age of the deceased. Automatically I relate this figure to my own age. Four years to go, I think. Nine more years. Two years and I'm dead. The power of numbers is never more evident than when we use them to speculate on the time of our dying.”
Don DeLillo, White Noise

John Green
“There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There's .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities... I cannot tell you how grateful I am for our little infinity. You gave me forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Paul Erdős
“[When asked why are numbers beautiful?]

It’s like asking why is Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony beautiful. If you don't see why, someone can't tell you. I know numbers are beautiful. If they aren't beautiful, nothing is.”
Paul Erdős

Patrick Rothfuss
“I am no poet. I do not love words for the sake of words. I love words for what they can accomplish. Similarly, I am no arithmetician. Numbers that speak only of numbers are of little interest to me.”
Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man's Fear

R.J. Anderson
“I disliked numbers, and they didn't think much of me either.”
R.J. Anderson, Ultraviolet

Amie Kaufman
“Numbers do not feel. Do not bleed or weep or hope. They do not know bravery or sacrifice. Love and allegiance. At the very apex of callousness, you will find only ones and zeros.”
Amie Kaufman, Illuminae

Yōko Ogawa
“Soon after I began working for the Professor, I realized that he talked about numbers whenever he was unsure of what to say or do. Numbers were also his way of reaching out to the world. They were safe, a source of comfort.”
Yōko Ogawa, The Housekeeper and the Professor

G.K. Chesterton
“It may be conceded to the mathematicians that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one.”
G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday

Ron DeLegge II
“99 percent of all statistics only tell 49 percent of the story.”
Ron DeLegge II, Gents with No Cents

“However cozy things seemed, the facts of life were the same. You couldn't escape death: It would get us all in the end.”
Rachel Ward, Numbers

“Einstein’s remark on the limitlessness of human stupidity is made even more disturbing by the discovery that infinity comes in different sizes. Answering ‘How much stupider?’ or trying to measure the minimal idiocy bounded by an IQ test are mysteries which are themselves infinitely less alarming than simply attempting to tally the anti-savant population. One can count all the natural idiots (they’re the same as the even number of idiots – twice as many), but the number of real idiots continues forever: all the counting idiots (finger reckoners) plus all the fractional idiots (geniuses on a bad day) plus all the irrational idiots (they go on and on and on) add up to a world in which the approaching upper limit of our set of natural resources has its complement in the inexhaustible lower limit of our set of mental ones.”
Bauvard, Some Inspiration for the Overenthusiastic

Toba Beta
“Price ain't merely about numbers. It's a satisfying sacrifice.”
Toba Beta, Master of Stupidity

Aimee Bender
“It is all about numbers. It is all about sequence. It's the mathematical logic of being alive. If everything kept to its normal progression, we would live with the sadness--cry and then walk--but what really breaks us cleanest are the losses that happen out of order.”
Aimee Bender, An Invisible Sign of My Own

Neil Postman
“. . . we come astonishingly close to the mystical beliefs of Pythagoras and his followers who attempted to submit all of life to the sovereignty of numbers. Many of our psychologists, sociologists, economists and other latter-day cabalists will have numbers to tell them the truth or they will have nothing. . . . We must remember that Galileo merely said that the language of nature is written in mathematics. He did not say that everything is. And even the truth about nature need not be expressed in mathematics. For most of human history, the language of nature has been the language of myth and ritual. These forms, one might add, had the virtues of leaving nature unthreatened and of encouraging the belief that human beings are part of it. It hardly befits a people who stand ready to blow up the planet to praise themselves too vigorously for having found the true way to talk about nature.”
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Alysha Speer
“Time to go run the calories away, do away with all the numbers stalking you, throw out the bad habits and excess weight.”
Alysha Speer

Jorge Luis Borges
“He told me that in 1886 he had invented an original system of numbering and that in a very few days he had gone beyond the twenty-four-thousand mark. He had not written it down, since anything he thought of once would never be lost to him. His first stimulus was, I think, his discomfort at the fact that the famous thirty-three gauchos of Uruguayan history should require two signs and two words, in place of a single word and a single sign. He then applied this absurd principle to the other numbers. In place of seven thousand thirteen he would say (for example) Maximo Pérez; in place of seven thousand fourteen, The Railroad; other numbers were Luis Melián Lafinur, Olimar, sulphur, the reins, the whale, the gas, the caldron, Napoleon, Agustin de Vedia. In place of five hundred, he would say nine. Each word had a particular sign, a kind of mark; the last in the series were very complicated...”
Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths

Julia Quinn
“Most people would have probably lost count around seven. This was, Harry knew
from his extensive reading on logic and arithmetic, the largest number that most people
could visually appreciate. Put seven dots on a page, and most people can take a quick
glance and declare, “Seven.” Switch to eight, and the majority of humanity was lost.”
Julia Quinn, What Happens in London

Dejan Stojanovic
“Mathematics doesn’t care about those beyond the numbers.”
Dejan Stojanovic, The Shape

Mignon Fogarty
“...passive voice is better than writing out a humongous number and taking the risk that your readers' brains will be numb by the time they get to the verb.”
Mignon Fogarty, Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Ambrose Bierce
“In this world one must have a name; it prevents confusion, even when it does not establish identity. Some, though, are known by numbers, which also seem inadequate distinctions.”
Ambrose Bierce, The Moonlit Road and Other Ghost and Horror Stories

Jim Al-Khalili
“Two of the most famous Baghdadi scholars, the philosopher Al-Kindi and the mathematician Al-Khawarizmi, were certainly the most influential in transmitting Hindu numerals to the Muslim world. Both wrote books on the subject during al-Ma'mun's reign, and it was their work that was translated into Latin and transmitted to the West, thus introducing Europeans to the decimal system, which was known in the Middle Ages only as Arabic numerals. But it would be many centuries before it was widely accepted in Europe. One reason for this was sociological: decimal numbers were considered for a long time as symbols of the evil Muslim foe.”
Jim Al-Khalili

“God made the integers, all else is the work of man.”
Leopold Kronecker

Israelmore Ayivor
“What it takes is the passion to lead and the commitment to that passion through a lifetime. A great number isn’t bad though, but doesn’t take numbers to change the world.”
Israelmore Ayivor, Leaders' Frontpage: Leadership Insights from 21 Martin Luther King Jr. Thoughts

Israelmore Ayivor
“Five people with passion can do better than fifty people with mere desire or interest.”
Israelmore Ayivor, Leaders' Frontpage: Leadership Insights from 21 Martin Luther King Jr. Thoughts

Israelmore Ayivor
“A great number isn’t bad though, but doesn’t take numbers to change the world.”
Israelmore Ayivor, Leaders' Frontpage: Leadership Insights from 21 Martin Luther King Jr. Thoughts

“The Pythagoreans... were fascinated by certain specific ratios, ...The Greeks knew these as the 'golden' proportion and the 'perfect' proportion respectively. They may well have been learned from the Babylonians by Pythagoras himself after having been taken prisoner in Egypt. Ratios lay at the heart of the Pythagorean theory of music.”
Graham Flegg, Numbers: Their History and Meaning

Jonathan Black
“Highly complex numbers like the Comma of Pythagoras, Pi and Phi (sometimes called the Golden Proportion), are known as irrational numbers. They lie deep in the structure of the physical universe, and were seen by the Egyptians as the principles controlling creation, the principles by which matter is precipitated from the cosmic mind.

Today scientists recognize the Comma of Pythagoras, Pi and the Golden Proportion as well as the closely related Fibonacci sequence are universal constants that describe complex patterns in astronomy, music and physics. ...

To the Egyptians these numbers were also the secret harmonies of the cosmos and they incorporated them as rhythms and proportions in the construction of their pyramids and temples.”
Jonathan Black

“A good example of the archetypal ideas which the archetypes produce are natural numbers or integers. With the aid of the integers the shaping and ordering of our experiences becomes exact. Another example is mathematical group theory. ...important applications of group theory are symmetries which can be found in most different connections both in nature and among the 'artifacts' produced by human beings. Group theory also has important applications in mathematics and mathematical physics. For example, the theory of elementary particles and their interactions can in essential respects be reduced to abstract symmetries.
[The Message of the Atoms: Essays on Wolfgang Pauli and the Unspeakable]”
K. V. Laurikainen

“Numbers and more numbers...the future of mankind has come down to decimals. I guess you will figure that out, eventually.”
Anthony T.Hincks

Stefano Benni
“...noi arabi inventammo questi numeri: il sistema decimale. Ma la nostra più grande invenzione fu Syfr, Syfr, che divenne Zephirus e poi zero. noi inventammo il numero che indica il vuoto, il nulla. Un numero pauroso nel cui segno circolare ci si può smarrire.
Ebbene tu conosci lo zero, esso è il numero delle grandi cifre; aggiunto in lunga fila dietro un semplice numero, lo trasforma in un mostro: un miliardo, un miliardo di miliardi. [...]
Lo zero spalancò anche un'altra via: se lo zero si fa seguire da una virgola e poi da altri numeri, ebbene non ci sarà nessuno numeroper grande e mostruoso che sia, che potrà uscire dal suo orizzionte. [...]
E bada! Dopo lo zero, e la virgola, possono seguire molti altri zeri. Ma se alla fine ci sarà un numero, esso esisterà.”
Stefano Benni, Terra!

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