Stuart C. Lathrop

humanist & technologist

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Previously known as “<small>Thoughts</small>”

Don´t Drink & Do Root! Eric D. Fournier · July 31, 2014

Programmers are like the drug addicts of IT. Eric D. Fournier · July 31, 2014

Another brain child, born breech. Linda M. Lathrop · A telling observation told to me by my lovely wife…

The people will get the government of which they deserve. Unknown · This has been attributed to Thomas Jefferson (by me), Alexis de Tocqueville, H. L. Mencken (who did say "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.") and others.

Always give people three options: two to choose from and one to throw away. David Hardesty · c. 1982 (and perhaps others, but this is who I learned it from)

Waking up in the morning is the test; All the rest is just practice. Stuart C. Lathrop · February 2007

I find it more important to have goals than it is to actually follow through with them. Troy A. Parrish · April 13, 2007

Stuart: “Chance is malleable
Linda: “So is your head in a viseStuart & Linda Lathrop · November 9, 2007 (Exchanged over a friendly game of dice…)

Fast, Cheap, Correct: Pick Two. Unknown · (This is, I'm sure, minor variation on a theme picked up by me some 20+ years ago)

The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised. George F. Will · US editor, commentator, & columnist (1941 - )

The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good. Samuel Johnson (attributed; also attributed to Ann Landers) · English author, critic, & lexicographer (1709 - 1784)

For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three. Alice Kahn · (author details unknown, but a great quote nonetheless…)

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. Albert Einstein, (attributed) · US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

Are we talking about parity or parody? Linda M. Lathrop · June 25, 2008 (A conversation of disks gone adrift…)

My work is a game, a very serious game. M. C. Escher · Dutch artist (1898 - 1972)

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning. Rick Cook, The Wizardry Compiled · US Author (1944 - )

My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income. Errol Flynn · US (Australian-Tasmanian-born) movie actor (1909 - 1959)

Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything. Blaise Pascal · French mathematician, physicist (1623 - 1662)

Go to the bathroom. You're talking gibberish while being full of it. Norman M. Lathrop · June 9, 2008 (My dad makes another astute observation…)

My definition of an expert in any field is a person who knows enough about what's really going on to be scared. P. J. Plauger, “Computer Language”, March 1983 · US Programmer & Author

Stuart: “What happens after the 60th anniversary?
Linda: “Shovel. And some bananas.Stuart & Linda Lathrop · July 27, 2008 (Linda and I were looking up the traditional anniversary present for our fifth anniversary – wood – when I noticed that nothing appeared on the list after 60 years…)

For all we know, it could trigger world war 3, or it could cause some computer somewhere to spit out recipes for buttermilk pancakes. Jonathan Zdziarski, August 7, 2008 · (A wonderful peek into the “Myths and Rumors” rampant in our industry…)

To all you believers in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, alien-made crop circles and Bigfoot: Why is it, if a rogue bear mauls someone in the bush, game wardens don't have any trouble finding it days later? If a prison escapee flees into the wild, no matter how bush wise he is, it's not long before he's tracked down. They can find a tiny bird that is almost extinct in the vast expanse of Rocky Mountain wilderness and document all of this with photos and bodies. Yet no one can produce the body of a big smelly seven foot hairy giant walking around the bush and making no effort to hide? Oh, and before it slips my mind, I was once taken to an alien space ship after having consumed a bad batch of mushrooms. Gimme a friggin break! Bud, August 15 2008 · (A perhaps relevant observation on the recent finding of Bigfoot´s body in North Georgia…)

He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met. Abraham Lincoln · 16th president of US (1809 - 1865)

In politics, absurdity is not a handicap. Napoleon Bonaparte · French general & politician (1769 - 1821)

An idealist is a person who helps other people to be prosperous. Henry Ford · US automobile industrialist (1863 - 1947)

I can´t score and pour at the same time! Linda M. Lathrop · September 6, 2008 (yet another Farkle incident…)

Farkle (definition): when one farts & their eyes sparkle because it just feels so good; fart + sparkle = farkle! Diana L. Wells · September 11, 2008 (A creative definition tagged on the top of our printed Wiki article about this fun game…)

The problem is when something goes wrong that simplicity gets really complicated. Tony Z · October 1, 2008 (An astute perspective on what happens when the computer that has done so much to simplify your life fails!)

I remember what you say to me I just don't remember all of the words. Linda M. Lathrop · October 2, 2008 (Linda's comment to Jeff when trying to recall an earlier conversation about muddlers)

This job isn't as easy as jerking off. Anonymous · October 7, 2008

You're so full of shit you're blind in one eye! Linda M. Lathrop · October 12, 2008 (Linda to Lenny, owner of Hawk-Eye Home Inspections, Inc.… who really is!)

Lookie there: It's a talking monkey! Brooks Adams · October 13, 2008 (An observation on God's possible reaction to his grand experiment by a Recovering Southern Baptist…)

I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful. Warren Buffett · (1930 - ) US investor, businessman, and philanthropist (Lecturing to a group of students at Columbia Univerity. He was 21 years old.)

I live for the nights I can't remember with the friends I'll never forget. Unknown · October 20, 2008 (A new sign at our old friend Jeff's house…)

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously. Hubert H. Humphrey, Jr. · 38th US Vice President (1911 - 1978)

Come on, you know that's just one of the ways of my trivializing the importance of your job. Linda M. Lathrop · November 20, 2008 (Support is coming at me from all quarters…)

There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line. Oscar Levant · US pianist, composer, author, comedian, and actor (1906 - 1972)

Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve. George Bernard Shaw · Irish dramatist & socialist (1856 - 1950)

I just need enough to tide me over until I need more. Bill Hoest · US cartoonist (1926 - 1988)

So much of life requires a certain number of box tops. Norman M. Lathrop · November 30, 2008 (Dad's observation on the importance of our intern completing the paperwork to get his appropriate college credit.)

He needs to be a pinch-hitter for filibusters Melissa K. Wells · December 25, 2008 (Melissa discussing possible political career options for her beau…)

Heels like that should come with the pole… Jeff M · December 23, 2008 (Referring to a pair of shoes worn by Laura T while at Wren, a wonderful new Beaufort restaurant phoenixed from the old Sea Island Wine & Gourmet)

The world has been far too kind to stupid people for far too long. Eric D. Fournier · January 21, 2009

I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately. George Carlin · US comedian and actor (1937 - 2008) (I miss George…)

Onomotopia: a sociopolitical system that only sounds good. Toon at “The Brunching Shuttlecocks™” · A tagline found in a Far Side discussion.

Sometimes you just need some food, you know? Like at 4 in the morning… You could eat carpet for God's sake, but you need a little something! Jeff McKeown · March 21, 2009 (Sometimes its all about the munchies…)

All is well in candyland. JAMIE HALLMAN, owner of a candy store in San Francisco, on an increase in sales during the economic downturn.

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink. George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language", 1946 · English essayist, novelist, & satirist (1903 - 1950)

If I win the lottery, I'm giving you all $3.99 rather than the $1.99 everyone else is getting. Jayne Richardson · May 4, 2009 (Jayne's hilarious way of saying “thanks!”)

We can talk and we have opposing thumbs… oh, and we can go online. Other than that we're dogs. Chip Gilliland · May 8, 2009 (My neighbor theorizing that human motivation isn't as advanced as we credit ourselves.)

Who was your favorite study partner? Ritalin? Adorale? Provigil? Anyone have a whole study group? Besides giving me an honorary degree, I'm hoping you can also give me an honorary prescription pad. I heard if you mix OxyContin and Cialis, it gives you heat vision. Dr. Stephen Colbert · May 15, 2009 (One of many great lines during his commencement address at the Medical University of South Carolina.)

It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office. H. L. Mencken · US editor (1880 - 1956)

Golf and sex are about the only things you can enjoy without being good at. Jimmy Demaret · US professional golfer (May 24, 1910 - December 28, 1983)

The Internet is like alcohol in some sense. It accentuates what you would do anyway. If you want to be a loner, you can be more alone. If you want to connect, it makes it easier to connect. Esther Dyson, Interview in Time Magazine, October 2005 · Swiss journalist, entrepreneur & philanthropist (14 July 1951 - )

Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything. Blaise Pascal · French mathematician, physicist (1623 - 1662)

You can suck on the finger of a Pharoah and be good. Rob Horan · 17 July 2009 (A lunch discussion of honey gone awry…)

I'll feed you, pet you and call you George. Linda M. Lathrop · 18 July 2009 (…suggesting a possible Sunday response to my Saturday pouting.)

I got notes; I got crib notes… Kenneth Grimes · August 4, 2009

We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid. Benjamin Franklin · Founding father of the United States of America (January 17, 1706 - April 17, 1790)

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle · Greek philosopher, teacher (384 BC - 322 BC)

I don't say goodbye, I just make things awkward until the other person leaves. Melissa K. Wells · September 25, 2009

Linda: You should see what is hanging over our bed.
Paul: What, the
Sword of Damocles? Linda Lathrop & Paul Keyserling · 9 October 2009 (Another notable quip from conversations at our kitchen table…)

I'd like to be an optimist, but I doubt that it would work out. Unknown · October 22, 2009 (Sign observed in a bank officer's office)

Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion. Democritus ("chosen of the people") of Abdera · Ancient Greek philosopher (ca. 460 BCE - ca. 370 BCE)

The reason that 'guru' is such a popular word is because 'charlatan' is so hard to spell. William J. Bernstein · American financial theorist & author; (official website)

I'm dreaming of a white christmas - but if the white runs out I'll drink the red! Janeen Likens-Polen · November 30, 2009

I do better on my 3rd bottle of wine… Jeff D. McKeown · April 20, 2009

"The simultaneous selling of securities to customers and shorting them because they believed they were going to default is the most cynical use of credit information that I have ever seen," said Sylvain R. Raynes, an expert in structured finance at R & R Consulting in New York. "When you buy protection against an event that you have a hand in causing, you are buying fire insurance on someone else's house and then committing arson." Banks Bundled Bad Debt, Bet Against It and Won” · New York Times, December 23, 2009

Is marijuana really a gateway drug to heroin? I don't think so; thats like saying oral is the gateway to anal. M.K. Wells · December 24, 2009

(Asked of a mother) “How do you know your son goes to strip-clubs?”
(Answered by her co-worker) “He's overdrawn every month…” Names withheld by request · January 7, 2010

48 Laws? Thats a lot of laws… even God got it down to 10. (James Platt · January 7, 2010 (Commenting on my insistence that he read The 48 Laws of Power)

Vendor: We're at the floor
Rob: Then they're in the basement
Rob Horan · August 14, 2009
(Rob disarming one vendor's argument that the service pricing offered couldn't be any lower… with the help of another vendor)

Someone miscalculated my change. Mike S. · March 6, 2010

If I can lick myself it's casual Friday Maggie · March 12, 2010

I've got all the freaking CAT scans. I can't tell a freakin' thing, but it makes my dick look really big. It's kinda cool… Anonymous · April 1, 2010

One of the things I always tell my kids is that it's OK to head out for wonderful, but on your way to wonderful, you're gonna have to pass through all right," Withers says. "When you get to all right, take a good look around and get used to it, because that may be as far as you're gonna go." William Harrison “Bill” Withers, Jr. · American singer-songwriter and musician (July 4, 1938 - March 30, 2020)


As we move toward Inauguration Day, I have thought almost daily of a remark attributed to Henry Adams: ‘I expected the worst, and it was worse than I expected,’” said Patricia O’Toole, a biographer of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson as well as Adams. NYT 12/5/2020.