Thomas Zaslavsky

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Quotations of the Month


The New York Times, Metropolitan Diary, July 17, 2022

'What About New York?'

Dear Diary:

I was walking south toward Penn Station and my train home at the end of a long day when I overheard the two people walking together in front of me.

“L.A. is tough,” one said. “It’s all about looks. If you don’t look good, it’s hard to get anywhere.”

“What about New York?” the other asked.

“New York?” the first person replied. “New York is more about brains than looks.”

— Frederick Hurford


Let America Be America Again
by Langston Hughes

[Excerpt]

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.


Proclaim Liberty throughout all the Land
unto all the Inhabitants Thereof

The Liberty Bell
(from Leviticus 25:10)

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
—Benjamin Franklin, 1755


Those who can't teach, do.
Those who can't do, preach.


So many errors are buried in “clearly, obviously” or “it is easy to see”. Many years ago my then colleague Juan Schäffer told me, “If it really is easy to see, it is easy to give the reason.”

—Jonathan Borwein, Generalisations, Examples and Counter-Examples in Analysis and Optimisation, page 10.

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