Norbert Wiener Quotes

Who is Norbert Wiener?

Norbert Wiener was an American mathematician and philosopher considered a child prodigy.
Wiener was a professor of mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Born November 26, 1894
Died March 18, 1964

Books by Norbert Wiener


Best 39 Quotes by Norbert Wiener | Page 1 of 2

“A professor is one who can speak on any subject – for precisely fifty minutes.”

Norbert Wiener

“A significant idea of organization cannot be obtained in a world in which everything is necessary and nothing is contingent.”

Norbert Wiener

“As to the inventions of printing and of paper, we generally consider these in the wrong order, attributing too much importance to printing and too little to paper.”

Norbert Wiener

“One of the chief duties of the mathematician in acting as an advisor is to discourage from expecting too much from mathematics.”

Norbert Wiener

“The best material model of a cat is another, or preferably the same, cat.”

Norbert Wiener

“There are no answers, only cross references.”

Norbert Wiener

A New Theory of Measurement Quotes

“What most experimenters take for granted before they begin their experiments is infinitely more interesting than any results to which their experiments lead.”

Norbert Wiener
A New Theory of Measurement

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Cybernetics Quotes

“Again and again I have heard the statement that learning machines cannot subject us to any new dangers, because we can turn them off when we feel like it. But can we? To turn a machine off effectively, we must be in possession of information as to whether the danger point has come. The mere fact that we have made the machine does not guarantee that we shall have the proper information to do this. This is already implicit in the statement that the checker-playing machine can defeat the man who has programmed it, and this after a very limited time of working in.”

Norbert Wiener
Cybernetics

“Can man-made machines learn and can they reproduce themselves?”

Norbert Wiener
Cybernetics

“Information is information, not matter or energy.”

Norbert Wiener
Cybernetics

“Let us remember that the automatic machine is the precise economic equivalent of slave labor. Any labor which competes with slave labor must accept the economic consequences of slave labor.”

Norbert Wiener
Cybernetics

“There is much which we must leave, whether we like it or not, to the un-'scientific' narrative method of the professional historian.”

Norbert Wiener
Cybernetics

“There is nothing more dangerous to contemplate than World War III.”

Norbert Wiener
Cybernetics

Ex-prodigy Quotes

“A single inattention may lose a chess game, whereas a single successful approach to a problem, among many which have been relegated to the wastebasket, will make a mathematician's reputation.”

Norbert Wiener
Ex-prodigy

Products by Norbert Wiener

“Mathematics is a field which has often been compared with chess, but differs from the latter in that it is only one's best moments that count and not one's worst.”

Norbert Wiener
Ex-prodigy

“The advantage is that mathematics is a field in which one's blunders tend to show very clearly and can be corrected or erased with a stroke of the pencil.”

Norbert Wiener
Ex-prodigy

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“I'd rather have an ape for an ancestor than a bishop.”


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The Human Use of Human Beings Quotes

“A faith which we follow upon orders imposed from outside is no faith, and a community which puts its dependence upon such a pseudo-faith is ultimately bound to ruin itself because of the paralysis which the lack of a healthy growing science imposes upon it.”

Norbert Wiener
The Human Use of Human Beings

“A painter like Picasso, who runs through many periods and phases, ends up by saying all those things which are on the tip of the tongue of the age to say, and finally sterilizes the originality of his contemporaries and juniors.”

Norbert Wiener
The Human Use of Human Beings

“All philosophers and all sociologists draw their scientific ideas from the sources available at their time.”

Norbert Wiener
The Human Use of Human Beings

“Any labor which competes with slave labor must accept the economic conditions of slave labor.”

Norbert Wiener
The Human Use of Human Beings

“Any use of a human being in which less is demanded of him and less is attributed to him than his full status is a degradation and a waste.”

Norbert Wiener
The Human Use of Human Beings

“I have said that the modern man, and especially the modern American, however much 'know-how' he may have, has very little 'know-what'.”

Norbert Wiener
The Human Use of Human Beings

“If the human being is condemned and restricted to perform the same functions over and over again, he will not even be a good ant, not to mention a good human being.”

Norbert Wiener
The Human Use of Human Beings

“In a very real sense, we are shipwrecked passengers on a doomed planet. Yet, even in a shipwreck, human decencies and human values do not necessarily vanish, and we must make the most of them. We shall go down, but let it be in a manner to which we may look forward as worthy of our dignity.”

Norbert Wiener
The Human Use of Human Beings

“In all important respects, the man who has nothing but his physical power to sell has nothing to sell which it is worth anyone's money to buy.”

Norbert Wiener
The Human Use of Human Beings

“Progress imposes not only new possibilities for the future but new restrictions.”

Norbert Wiener
The Human Use of Human Beings

“Science is a way of life which can only flourish when men are free to have faith.”

Norbert Wiener
The Human Use of Human Beings

“Scientific discovery consists in the interpretation for our own convenience of a system of existence which has been made with no eye to our convenience at all.”

Norbert Wiener
The Human Use of Human Beings

Products by Norbert Wiener

“The more we get out of the world the less we leave, and in the long run we shall have to pay our debts at a time that may be very inconvenient for our own survival.”

Norbert Wiener
The Human Use of Human Beings

“The nervous system and the automatic machine are fundamentally alike in that they are devices, which make decisions on the basis of decisions they made in the past.”

Norbert Wiener
The Human Use of Human Beings

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“The most liberating of all thoughts is disregard or disconcern for what other people think. Famous mail-order impresario and entrepreneur J. Peterman wrote in his autobiography 'Peterman Rides Again';

“Once you realize that most people are keeping up appearances and putting on a show, their approval becomes less important.”

Excessive concern over what other people think inhibits personality more than any other factor.”

The New Psycho-Cybernetics


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