Ideas Quotes

On two occasions I have been asked (by Members of Parliament), ‘Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?’ I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.

Everything you see and touch was once an invisible idea until someone chose to bring it into being. Any powerful idea is absolutely fascinating and absolutely useless until we choose to use it.

Where do you get your crazy ideas?” asked the gentleman twenty rows back, the first question in the second hour of the lecture. There was a mass low chuckle from the couple-thousand people in the Civic Auditorium… he was not the only one curious about that… For the moment I had walked to the footlights […]

A city (Paris) where great ideas perish, done to death by a witticism.

I am interested in the shape of ideas even if I do not believe in them. There is a wonderful sentence in Augustine… ‘Do not despair: one of the thieves was saved; do not presume: one of the thieves was damned.’ That sentence had a wonderful shape. It is the shape that matters.

You can imprison a man, but not an idea. You can exile a man, but not an idea. You can kill a man, but not an idea.

I never said I had no idea about most of the things you said I said I had no idea about. (U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, at Iran-Contra Hearings, 1987)

It is very a dangerous thing to have an idea that you will not practice.

It is our function to keep in view and to command the movement of ideas, which are not the effect but the cause of public events.

There is no adequate defense, except stupidity, against the impact of a new idea.