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Galton, Sir Francis (1822-1911)
I know of scarcely anything so apt to impress the imagination as the wonderful form of cosmic order expressed by the "Law of Frequency of Error." The law would have been personified by the Greeks and deified, if they had known of it. It reigns with serenity and in complete self-effacement, amidst the wildest confusion. The huger the mob, and the greater the apparent anarchy, the more perfect is its sway. It is the supreme law of Unreason. Whenever a large sample of chaotic elements are taken in hand and marshaled in the order of their magnitude, an unsuspected and most beautiful form of regularity proves to have been latent all along.
In J. R. Newman (ed.), The World of Mathematics, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1956. p. 1482.
Galton, Sir Francis (1822-1911)
[Statistics are] the only tools by which an opening can be cut through the formidable thicket of difficulties that bars the path of those who pursue the Science of Man.
Pearson, The Life and Labours of Francis Galton, 1914.
Galton, Sir Francis (1822-1911)
Whenever you can, count.
In J. R. Newman (ed.), The World of Mathematics, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1956.
Galois, Evariste
Unfortunately what is little recognized is that the most worthwhile scientific books are those in which the author clearly indicates what he does not know; for an author most hurts his readers by concealing difficulties.
In N. Rose (ed.), Mathematical Maxims and Minims, Raleigh NC: Rome Press Inc., 1988.
Galilei, Galileo (1564-1642)
And who can doubt that it will lead to the worst disorders when minds created free by God are compelled to submit slavishly to an outside will? When we are told to deny our senses and subject them to the whim of others? When people devoid of whatsoever competence are made judges over experts and are granted authority to treat them as they please? These are the novelties which are apt to bring about the ruin of commonwealths and the subversion of the state.
[On the margin of his own copy of Dialogue on the Great World Systems]
In J. R. Newman (ed.), The World of Mathematics, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1956, p. 733.
Galilei, Galileo (1564-1642)
Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.
Quoted in H. Weyl, "Mathematics and the Laws of Nature" in I. Gordon and S. Sorkin (eds.), The Armchair Science Reader, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1959.
Galilei, Galileo (1564-1642)
[The universe] cannot be read until we have learnt the language and become familiar with the characters in which it is written. It is written in mathematical language, and the letters are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without which means it is humanly impossible to comprehend a single word.
Opere Il Saggiatore, p. 171.
Galbraith, John Kenneth
There can be no question, however, that prolonged commitment to mathematical exercises in economics can be damaging. It leads to the atrophy of judgment and intuition ...
Economics, Peace, and Laughter.
G. H. Hardy
A mathematician, like a painter or a poet, is a maker of patterns. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas.
G. H. Hardy
George Harrison
With every mistake we must surely be learning.
While My Guitar Gently Weeps

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