this is just a random sample, not necessarily best quotes

Technology/engineering

“The best part is no part. The best process is no process. It weighs nothing, costs nothing, can’t go wrong…. Undesigning is the best thing. Just delete it.” - elon

“My whole life was basically trying to optimize things. You don’t just save parts, but every time you save parts you save on complexity and reliability, the amount of time it takes to understand something. And how good you can build it without errors and bugs and flaws.” - woz

‘“Figure out the optimal configuration of atoms first… then figure out how to put them there” - elon’ - jim keller

(in other words:) “Don’t let the how’s constrain the what’s.” - jim keller

“If it’s long it’s wrong. If it’s tight it’s right” - elon on time schedules

“It is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree–make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.” - elon

“Instead of innovating out from the present, what you want to do is invent the future from the future. Go out and live in the future and bring the future back.” - alan kay.

“For some years I set aside Friday afternoons for ‘great thoughts’… I found it was well worth the 10% of my time to do this careful examination of where computing was heading so I would know where we were going and hence could go in the right direction… I could also keep a sharp eye on the important problems and see that my major effort went to them.” - hamming

“A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system.” - Gall’s Law

“The True Way transcends the minutiae of Skill. There is no ‘Technology’. There is no ‘Design’. There is only a vision of how humanity could be, and the relentless resolve to make it so. The rest is details.” - Bret Victor

Life

“Relentlessly prune bullshit, don’t wait to do things that matter, and savor the time you have.” -pg

“Good procrastination is avoiding errands to do real work” -pg

“Unproductive pleasures pall eventually. After a while you get tired of lying on the beach. If you want to stay happy, you have to do something.” -pg

Obsession

“If someone’s much better than you at something, they probably try much harder. You probably underestimate how much harder they try.” - ava

“If others would think as hard as I did, then they would get similar results.” - Netwon

“Luck favors the prepared mind” - Louis Pasteur

“We’re not obsessed by anything, you see,” insisted Ford.
“…”
“And that’s the deciding factor. We can’t win against obsession. They care, we don’t. They win.”
“I care about lots of things,” said Slartibartfast, his voice trembling partly with annoyance, but partly also with uncertainty.
“Such as?”
“Well,” said the old man, “life, the Universe. Everything, really. Fjords.”
“Would you die for them?”
“Fjords?” blinked Slartibartfast in surprise. “No.”
“Well then.”
- Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker’s Guide)

Rationality

“What is true is already so. Owning up to it doesn’t make it worse. Not being open about it doesn’t make it go away. And because it’s true, it is what is there to be interacted with. Anything untrue isn’t there to be lived. People can stand what is true, for they are already enduring it” - The Litany of Gendlin

“Oops is the sound we make when we improve our beliefs and strategies; so to look back at a time and not see anything you did wrong means that you haven’t learned anything or changed your mind since then.” - ey

“Now humans cannot use themselves this efficiently. But humans are not adapted for the task of scientific research. Humans are adapted to chase deer across the savanna, throw spears into them, cook them, and then—this is probably the part that takes most of the brains—cleverly argue that they deserve to receive a larger share of the meat. It’s amazing that Albert Einstein managed to repurpose a brain like that for the task of doing physics. This deserves applause. It deserves more than applause, it deserves a place in the Guinness Book of Records. Like successfully building the fastest car ever to be made entirely out of Jello.” - ey

“If you only try to do what seems humanly possible, you will ask too little of yourself. When you imagine reaching up to some higher and inconvenient goal, all the convenient reasons why it is “not possible” leap readily to mind. The most important role models are dreams: they come from within ourselves. To dream of anything less than what you conceive to be perfection is to draw on less than the full power of the part of yourself that dreams.” - ey

“The point being, the problem is not that you need an aura of destiny and the aura of destiny is missing. If you’d met Albert before he published his papers, you would have perceived no aura of destiny about him to match his future high status. He would seem like just another Jewish genius. This is not because the royal birthright is concealed, but because it simply is not there. It is not necessary. There is no separate magisterium for people who do important things.” - ey

“You can only arrive at mastery by practicing the techniques you have learned, facing challenges and apprehending them, using to the fullest the tools you have been taught, until they shatter in your hands and you are left in the midst of wreckage absolute… I cannot create masters. I have never known how to create masters. Go, then, and fail… You have been shaped into something that may emerge from the wreckage, determined to remake your Art. I cannot create masters, but if you had not been taught, your chances would be less. The higher road begins after the Art seems to fail you; though the reality will be that it was you who failed your Art.” - Jeffreyssai - ey

“P.C. Hodgell said - That which can be destroyed by the truth should be. Do not flinch from experiences that might destroy your beliefs. The thought you cannot think controls you more than thoughts you speak aloud. Submit yourself to ordeals and test yourself in fire. Relinquish the emotion which rests upon a mistaken belief, and seek to feel fully that emotion which fits the facts. If the iron approaches your face, and you believe it is hot, and it is cool, the Way opposes your fear. If the iron approaches your face, and you believe it is cool, and it is hot, the Way opposes your calm. Evaluate your beliefs first and then arrive at your emotions. Let yourself say - If the iron is hot, I desire to believe it is hot, and if it is cool, I desire to believe it is cool.” - ey

Misc

“I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really - I was alive.” - walt white