Program Quotes (7 quotes)
Do not undertake the program unless the goal is manifestly important and its achievement nearly impossible.
Man is programmed to find the programmer.
Men are noisy, narrow-band devices, but their nervous systems have very many parallel and simultaneously active channels. Relative to men, computing machines are very fast and very accurate, but they are constrained to perform only one or a few elementary operations at a time. Men are flexible, capable of programming themselves contingently on the basis of newly received information. Computing machines are single-minded, constrained by their pre-programming.
Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest.
Scientists alone can establish the objectives of their research, but society, in extending support to science, must take account of its own needs. As a layman, I can suggest only with diffidence what some of the major tasks might be on your scientific agenda, but ... First, I would suggest the question of the conservation and development of our natural resources. In a recent speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations, I proposed a world-wide program to protect land and water, forests and wildlife, to combat exhaustion and erosion, to stop the contamination of water and air by industrial as well as nuclear pollution, and to provide for the steady renewal and expansion of the natural bases of life.
The longing to behold this pre-established harmony [of phenomena and theoretical principles] is the source of the inexhaustible patience and perseverance with which Planck has devoted himself ... The state of mind which enables a man to do work of this kind is akin to that of the religious worshiper or the lover; the daily effort comes from no deliberate intention or program, but straight from the heart.
The strength of the computer lies in its being a logic machine. It does precisely what it is programed to do. This makes it fast and precise. It also makes it a total moron; for logic is essentially stupid.