Simon Singh · 315 pages
Rating: (20.2K votes)
“God exists since mathematics is consistent, and the Devil exists since we cannot prove it.”
“Pascal was even convinced that he could use his theories to justify a belief in God. He stated that ‘the excitement that a gambler feels when making a bet is equal to the amount he might win multiplied by the probability of winning it’. He then argued that the possible prize of eternal happiness has an infinite value and that the probability of entering heaven by leading a virtuous life, no matter how small, is certainly finite. Therefore, according to Pascal’s definition, religion was a game of infinite excitement and one worth playing, because multiplying an infinite prize by a finite probability results in infinity.”
“Pascal was even convinced that he could use his theories to justify a belief in God. He stated that ‘the excitement that a gambler feels when making a bet is equal to the amount he might win multiplied by the probability of winning it’.”
“What is the least number of weights that can be used on a set of scales to weigh any whole number of kilograms from 1 to 40?”
“Maths is one of the purest forms of thought, and to outsiders mathematicians may seem almost other-worldly.”
“Proof is what lies at the heart of maths, and is what marks it out from other sciences. Other sciences have hypotheses that are tested against experimental evidence until they fail, and are overtaken by new hypotheses. In maths, absolute proof is the goal, and once something is proved, it is proved forever, with no room for change.”
“Archimedes will be remembered when Aeschylus is forgotten, because languages die and mathematical ideas do not. ‘Immortality’ may be a silly word, but probably a mathematician has the best chance of whatever it may mean. G.H. Hardy 23”
“The mathematical life of a mathematician is short. Work rarely improves after the age of twenty-five or thirty. If little has been accomplished by then, little will ever be accomplished.”
“Although this may seem a paradox, all exact science is dominated by the idea of approximation.”
“Euclid discovered that perfect numbers are always the multiple of two numbers, one of which is a power of 2 and the other being the next power of 2 minus 1.”
“Reading a poem in translation is like kissing a woman through a veil.”
“As much as I think about sex, I can only with extreme difficulty conceive of myself actually performing the act. And here's another thing I wonder about. How could you ever look a girl in the eye after you've had your winkie up her wendell? I mean, doesn't that render normal social conversation impossible? Apparently not.”
“To quote a famous philosopher revered in my time 'But this is no different from regular life. When have you ever known what's going to happen in the future?'" Wait a minute, Jonah thought. I said that. Back at Westminster, with Katherine. Does that mean I'm going to be a famous philosopher in the future? Does that mean I'm going to be revered? There wasn't time to ask.”
“I rule the Empire now. Not some long-dead Emperor; certainly not you. the only treason is defiance of my orders.”
“Oh, I’m so glad. You love a boy," my mom said. "You’re still our Rafe, underneath this hideous straight disguise….”
BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.
We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.
Founded in 2018, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.