Herbert A Simon Quotes

  • Anything that gives us new knowledge gives us an opportunity to be more rational.
  • I realized that you could formulate theories about human and social phenomena in language and pictures and whatever you wanted on the computer, and you didn't have to go through this straitjacket, adding a lot of numbers.
  • Human knowledge has been changing from the word 'go,' and people, in certain respects, behave more rationally than they did when they didn't have it. They spend less time doing rain dances and more time seeding clouds.
  • Whereas economic man maximises, selects the best alternative from among all those available to him, his cousin, administrative man, satisfices, looks for a course of action that is satisfactory or 'good enough'.
  • What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients.
  • The classical theory of omniscient rationality is strikingly simple and beautiful.
  • I like to think that since I was about 19, I have studied human decision-making and problem-solving.
  • The density of settlement of economists over the whole empire of economic science is very uneven, with a few areas of modest size holding the bulk of the population.
  • Like Humpty Dumpty, we can make words mean anything we want them to mean.
  • Among my European ancestors were piano builders, goldsmiths, and vintners but, to the best of my knowledge, no professionals of any kind.
  • I started off thinking that maybe the social sciences ought to have the kinds of mathematics that the natural sciences had. That works a little bit in economics because they talk about costs, prices and quantities of goods.
  • You can love two or more women at once... but you cannot be loyal to more than one.
  • Viewed as a geometric figure, the ant's path is irregular, complex, and hard to describe.
  • I tried to develop some theories that took account of the uncertainty in the world and the complexity in the world.
  • Time and again, we have found the 'idle' truths arrived at through the process of inquiry to be of the greatest moment for practical human affairs.
  • When computers came along, I felt for the first time that I had the proper tools for the kind of theoretical work I wanted to do. So I moved over to that, and that got me into psychology.
  • I think those who object to my characterizing man as simple want somehow to retain a deep mystery at his core.
  • The choices we make lead up to actual experiences. It is one thing to decide to climb a mountain. It is quite another to be on top of it.
  • In arguing that machines think, we are in the same fix as Darwin when he argued that man shares common ancestors with monkeys, or Galileo when he argued that the Earth spins on its axis.
  • The Nobel prizes memorialize Alfred Nobel's faith in the contribution that human thought, directed to science and art, can make to human welfare.
  • A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.
  • My home nurtured in me an early attachment to books and other things of the intellect, to music, and to the out of doors.
  • I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on June 15, 1916. My father, an electrical engineer, had come to the United States in 1903 after earning his engineering diploma at the Technische Hochschule of Darmstadt, Germany.