# Some citations

• B.S. = bull shit; M.S. = more shit; PhD = piled higher & deeper

Random guy on the Internet

Comment: Well, looks like I have been hard at work piling up some …

Things are easier to learn when the stakes are not too high.

Louis Rossmann

While some pressure or alike can indeed be a great catalyst for us to do something, in some case that same pressure, especially when the cost ofa failure at said task is relatively high, can lead one to perform sub-optimally with respect to that goal. As a “solution”, he proposes to “give yourself the luxury of failures”, as a way to reduce the stress and anxiety that would induce sub-par performance.

An example that comes to mind was when playing some challenging level of Doom Eternal: when having a few sparse lives that gave me the luxury to fail without being set back too much, I would usually be more daring in my actions, while at the same time being relax enough to perform the consistently enough, than when I have no spare lives. In that case, I would actually be very “conservative” and restrained, just to be able to reach the next checkpoint without doing, which happens to be less enjoyable and interesting overall.

Don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.

Robert Frost

Comment: pending I guess.

The problem with democracy is that those who need leaders are not qualified to choose them

Michael Malice

The argument was that “competent people” do not need direction as they are more able to decide for themselves. On the other hand, “incompetent people” who need leadership do not actually have the capacity to designate the latter even for their own good. As a counter-argument, however, no matter the degree of competence an individual might have, is it enough to work optimally at a larger scale ? Maybe the hope here relies in an “ideal decentralized system”, but can such system even exist ? Not matter individual competence, it seems more efficient to delegate some processes, hence the potential need of such “leaders”. This probably require more thoughts.

Every mind was made for growth, for knowledge, and its nature is sinned against when it is doomed to ignorance.

William Ellery Channing

A critic on censorship ? Or the voluntary embrace of ignorance ?

A saying for getting laid in engineering schools: “The odds are good, but the goods are odd”.

Author unknown

Comment: Personal experience: neither goods nor odds it seems.

As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance.

John Wheeler

Comment: Welcome to my beach-planet resort …

What is better - to be born good, or to overcome your evil nature through great effort?

Paarthurnax “The Old One”, leader of the Greybeards — The Elder Scrolls V : Skyrim

Comment: While I would not recommend drawing life lesson from works of fiction, I could not help but make an exception for the one above. The answer, however, is relative to the prespective one approaches it. First, similarly to the saying “Ignorance is bliss”, being born favored by Lady Luck is not that bad of an experience. This would be better from the “quality of life” point of view. On the hand, overcoming hardships thorughout one’s life, as the dragon suggests, would result in a more “meaningful life”. From my experience, I would become aware of myself, my situtation and my thoughts more accurately when going through an “ordeal” (I must however admit that the ones I had to face so far were relatively insignificant …), i.e. in troubled times. Those are the moments I would mature and improve the best, to a point that I could even notice it myself to a certain extent. But again, this could only be an illusion of the “ego”, giving us a satisfactory enough answer for the hardship that was endured, and motivating us to go even further (sometimes, even too much).

It is better to go forward without an aim than loiter without an aim, and with surety much better than to retreat witjout an aim.

Emiel Regis Rohellec Terzieff-Godefroy — The Witcher: Tower of Swallow, P128~129

Comment: After finishing (or more likely failing) a research project, I would sometimes have no explicit objective and scarce ideas I could expand on. In those time, this citation could be said to have kept me going more than once, as well as some other, similar ones. When all your efforts and resources are depleted, one can only move forward, creating some force that will cause some reaction, relying on serendipitous events to build upon. Otherwise, the likelihood of the situation improving is very low … which quite an appropriate segway for the citation coming next.

If anything can go wrong, it will.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Comment: Another interesting formulation would be that of Professor Jordan B. Peterson: When left to themselves, things tend to go wrong’’ (if memory serves me correctly). While this might encourage someone to lean and maybe even hang of the edge of pessimism, one lesson would be to always expect the worst case scenario.

He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Assuming dirrrrect control.

The Harbinger — Mass Effect Series

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