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Ingo Molnar

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I have a very simple question to people ... who seem to suffer from excessive narcissism: please name three other persons who are smarter and more capable than you, in the field you work in. (In most cases they are utterly unable to answer that question honestly.)
--
A comment at LWN.net in 2011

 
Ingo Molnar

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It means "Ask the next question." Ask the next question, and the one that follows that, and the one that follows that. It's the symbol of everything humanity has ever created, and is the reason it has been created. This guy is sitting in a cave and he says, "Why can't man fly?" Well, that's the question. The answer may not help him, but the question now has been asked.
The next question is what? How? And so all through the ages, people have been trying to find out the answer to that question. We've found the answer, and we do fly. This is true of every accomplishment, whether it's technology or literature, poetry, political systems or anything else. That is it. Ask the next question. And the one after that.

 
Theodore Sturgeon
 

So if you happen to bump into a Democrat candidate, you might want to ask this simple question: What's your plan? If they say they want to protect the homeland, but oppose the Patriot Act, ask them this question: What's your plan? If they say they want to uncover terrorist plots, but oppose listening in on terrorist conversations, ask them this question: What's your plan? If they say they want to stop new attacks on our country, but oppose letting the CIA detain and question the terrorists who might know what those plots are, ask them this question: What's your plan? If they say they want to win the war on terror, but call for America to pull out from what al Qaeda says is the central front in this war, ask them this question: What's your plan?...The truth is, the Democrats can't answer that question. Harsh criticism is not a plan for victory. Second-guessing is not a strategy.

 
George W. Bush
 

There is only one question. And once you know the answer to that question there are no more to ask. That one question is the Original Question. And to that Original Question there is only one Final Answer. But between that Question and its Answer there are innumerable false answers.

 
Meher Baba
 

If humiliation and rejection are to be the rewards of faithful and effective service in this field, what are those of us to conclude who have also served prominently in this line of work but upon whom this badge has not yet been conferred?
We cannot deceive ourselves into believing that it was merit, rather than chance, that spared some of us the necessity of working in areas of activity that have now become controversial, of recording opinions people now find disagreeable, of aiding in the implementation of policies now under question. ... In no field of endeavor is it easier than in the field of foreign affairs to be honestly wrong; in no field is it harder for contemporaries to be certain they can distinguish between wisdom and folly; in no field would it be less practicable to try to insist on infallibility as a mark of fitness for office.

 
George F. Kennan
 

To me this question whether liberty is a good or a bad thing appears as irrational as the question whether fire is a good or a bad thing. It is both good and bad according to time, place, and circumstance, and a complete answer to the question, In what cases is liberty good and in what cases is it bad? would involve not merely a universal history of mankind, but a complete solution of the problems which such a history would offer.

 
James Fitzjames Stephen
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