Quotes about optimism

A collection of quotes on the topic of optimism.

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Richard M. DeVos photo
Noam Chomsky photo
Amartya Sen photo
Donald Ervin Knuth photo

„The real problem is that programmers have spent far too much time worrying about efficiency in the wrong places and at the wrong times; premature optimization is the root of all evil (or at least most of it) in programming.“

—  Donald Ervin Knuth, Literate Programming

Programmers waste enormous amounts of time thinking about, or worrying about, the speed of noncritical parts of their programs, and these attempts at efficiency actually have a strong negative impact when debugging and maintenance are considered. We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil. Yet we should not pass up our opportunities in that critical 3%.
Variant in Knuth, "Structured Programming with Goto Statements" http://pplab.snu.ac.kr/courses/adv_pl05/papers/p261-knuth.pdf. Computing Surveys 6:4 (December 1974), pp. 261–301, §1.
Knuth refers to this as "Hoare's Dictum" 15 years later in "The Errors of Tex", Software—Practice & Experience 19:7 (July 1989), pp. 607–685. However, the attribution to C. A. R. Hoare is doubtful. http://shreevatsa.wordpress.com/2008/05/16/premature-optimization-is-the-root-of-all-evil/
All three of these papers are reprinted in Knuth, Literate Programming, 1992, Center for the Study of Language and Information ISBN 0937073806
Source: Computer Programming as an Art (1974), p. 671

Rosa Parks photo
Derek Landy photo
Buckminster Fuller photo

„I find the audiences very excited. But then they come and say to me, "Your optimism has brushed off on me. I didn't know we had an option. I feel so much better." They say, "Your optimism." And I am not optimistic or pessimistic. I feel that optimism and pessimism are very unbalanced. I am a very hard engineer.“

—  Buckminster Fuller American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor and futurist 1895 - 1983

From 1980s onwards, Only Integrity is Going to Count (1983)
Context: I find the audiences very excited. But then they come and say to me, "Your optimism has brushed off on me. I didn't know we had an option. I feel so much better." They say, "Your optimism." And I am not optimistic or pessimistic. I feel that optimism and pessimism are very unbalanced. I am a very hard engineer. I am a mechanic. I am a sailor. I am an air pilot. I don't tell people I can get you across the ocean with my ship unless I know what I'm talking about.

Roger Ailes photo
Antonio Gramsci photo

„Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.“

—  Antonio Gramsci Italian writer, politician, theorist, sociologist and linguist 1891 - 1937

Variant: Pessimism of the spirit; optimism of the will.

Alain de Botton photo
Oscar Wilde photo

„The basis of optimism is sheer terror.“

—  Oscar Wilde, book The Picture of Dorian Gray

Source: The Picture of Dorian Gray

Sarah Dessen photo
Khaled Hosseini photo
Paul Fussell photo

„i find nothing more depressing than optimism.“

—  Paul Fussell Recipient of the Purple Heart medal 1924 - 2012

Henry Rollins photo
N.T. Wright photo

„What we have at the moment isn't as the old liturgies used to say, 'the sure and certain hope of the resurrection of the dead,' but a vague and fuzzy optimism that somehow things may work out in the end.“

—  N.T. Wright Anglican bishop 1948

Source: Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church

Oscar Wilde photo