Quotes from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos

Leonard Mlodinow ·  352 pages

Rating: (1K votes)


“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“A dwarf standing on the shoulders of a giant may see farther than a giant himself”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“Robert Frost wrote in 1914, “Why abandon a belief / Merely because it ceases to be true.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“Paleolithic humans migrated often, and, like my teenagers, they followed the food.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos



“I wouldn’t have to drop out of academia and take a more lucrative position waiting tables at the faculty club.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“Well, I have been working on my own theory for twelve years,” and then he proceeded to describe it in excruciating detail. When he was finished, Feynman turned to me and said, in front of the man who had just proudly described his work, “That’s exactly what I mean about wasting your time.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“Chemicals were easier to procure than friends, and when I wanted to play with them they never said they had to stay home to wash their hair or, less politely, that they didn’t associate with weirdos.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“A dwarf on a giant’s shoulders sees farther of the two”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“A pygmy upon a gyants shoulder may see farther than the [giant] himself.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos



“Our species had to engage in complex cooperative behavior in order to survive in the wild, and—as I keep reminding my teenage children—pointing and grunting get you only so far.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“German authorities saw the need for a statute explicitly forbidding anyone associated with the university from drenching freshmen with urine,”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“Leipzig that the university had to pass a rule against throwing stones at professors.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“a thousand years without a bath.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“if a lecture was not interesting or proceeded too slowly or too quickly, they would jeer and become rowdy.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos



“the invention of mummification. This was believed to be the key to a happy afterlife; certainly there were no disgruntled customers coming back to say otherwise.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“paleontological evidence suggests that the early farmers had more spinal issues, worse teeth, and more anemia and vitamin deficiencies—and died younger—than the populations of human foragers who preceded them.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“research on hunter-gatherer groups ranging from the nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries shows that the average nomad worked just two to four hours each day.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“discovering that hunter-gatherers had constructed Göbekli Tepe was like finding that someone had built a 747 in a basement with an X-Acto knife.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“Upon learning of the young man’s interest in a physics book, Lindemann, a number theorist, abruptly ended the interview, saying, “In that case you are completely lost to mathematics.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos



“Stephen Hawking once told me that there was a sense in which he was glad to be paralyzed, because it allowed him to focus much more intensely on his work.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“Michael Jordan once said, “I’ve missed more than nine thousand shots in my career. I’ve lost almost three hundred games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“Newton was “not finally reducible to the criteria by which we comprehend our fellow human beings.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“theory produces a good deal but hardly brings us closer to the secret of the Old One. I am at all events convinced that He does not play dice.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“They required three thousand Jews, the man said, and the line had apparently held 3,004.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos



“the destination was the local cemetery, where everyone was ordered to dig a mass grave and then was shot dead and buried in it.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“My father had drawn number 3,004 in a death lottery in which German precision trumped Nazi brutality.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“Pauli turned to the audience and argued, “Yes, my theory is crazy enough!” Then Bohr insisted, “No, your theory is not crazy enough!”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“Heisenberg, who was attempting to hold German physics together, resented Schrödinger’s departure, “since he was neither Jewish nor otherwise endangered.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos


“Einstein, who was then a professor in Berlin, was by chance visiting Caltech in the United States the day Hitler was appointed.”
― Leonard Mlodinow, quote from The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos



About the author

Leonard Mlodinow
Born place: Chicago, Illinois, The United States
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