Just who did you say said that?
The internet is a wonderful source for finding quotes, and for finding
that numerous people have said the same thing (or at least that the same
phrase gets attributed to numerous people). This quote is a good case in
point. While finishing up my work on this column I received a short e-mail
message from my brother
that serendipitously contained (only) that quote (almost word for word).
Except that it was attributed to Albert Einstein.
I have a couple of basic rules of thumb that I go by when trying to
determine the authenticity of a quote:
In this particular case, my rules apply: David C. Hazen, though highly
respected in his field (aerospace) is not a world renowned figure, and
I have a book that carries the quote (attributed to him) that was printed
in 1967. So with all due respect to Einstein (and the opportunity for even
more name dropping), I'll stick with Hazen on this one.
if a printed attribution (from before web popularity) and
a webbed attribution conflict, the printed attribution is more trustworthy
if the quote is attributed both to a lesser known person
and to a very famous person, the lesser known attribution is more trustworthy
Go to: The Unbearable Linearity of Learning