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Jef Raskin

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MacUser: Which person do you most admire?
Jef Raskin: For what attribute? Once again you ask a question that linearises a complex matter. I can name many. Let's start with people named George: George Cantor for moving infinity out of philosophy into mathematics, George Washington for showing how a leader should relinquish power, and George Bernard Shaw for his humanity... Or we can do it by subject and admire Aristotle, Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein for their pulling from nature comprehensible laws; or Euclid, Gauss and Gφdel for their contributions to mathematics; or people who have influenced me very directly, in which case I'd mention my very admirable parents and the teacher who taught me to be intellectually independent, L R Genise; or how about Claude Shannon without whose work on information theory I would have been lost.

 
Jef Raskin

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I found many men to whom I felt deeply grateful — especially Guy de Maupassant, Jack London, and H. L. Mencken — but the first man to whom I felt definitely related was George Bernard Shaw. This is a presumptuous or fatuous thing to mention, perhaps, but even so it must be mentioned. ... I myself, as a person, have been influenced by many writers and many things, and my writing has felt the impact of the writing of many writers, some relatively unknown and unimportant, some downright bad. But probably the greatest influence of them all when an influence is most effective — when the man being influenced is nowhere near being solid in his own right — has been the influence of the great tall man with the white beard, the lively eyes, the swift wit and the impish chuckle. ... I have been fascinated by it all, grateful for it all, grateful for the sheer majesty of the existence of ideas, stories, fables, and paper and ink and print and books to hold them all together for a man to take aside and examine alone. But the man I liked most and the man who seemed to remind me of myself — of what I really was and would surely become — was George Bernard Shaw.

 
George Bernard Shaw
 

The only generally agreed upon definition of mathematics is "Mathematics is what mathematician's do." [...]
In the face of this difficulty [of defining "computer science"] many people, including myself at times, feel that we should ignore the discussion and get on with doing it. But as George Forsythe points out so well in a recent article*, it does matter what people in Washington D.C. think computer science is. According to him, they tend to feel that it is a part of applied mathematics and therefore turn to the mathematicians for advice in the granting of funds. And it is not greatly different elsewhere; in both industry and the universities you can often still see traces of where computing first started, whether in electrical engineering, physics, mathematics, or even business. Evidently the picture which people have of a subject can significantly affect its subsequent development. Therefore, although we cannot hope to settle the question definitively, we need frequently to examine and to air our views on what our subject is and should become.

 
Richard Hamming
 

When, at the age of eighteen, I was the manager of the Postal Telegraph office at 21 Taylor Street in San Francisco, I remember having been asked by the clerk there, a man named Clifford, who the hell I thought I was. And I remember replying very simply and earnestly somewhat as follows: If you have ever heard of George Bernard Shaw, if you have ever read his plays or prefaces, you will know what I mean when I tell you that I am that man by another name.
Who is he? I remember the clerk asking.
George Bernard Shaw, I replied, is the tonic of the Christian peoples of the world. He is health, wisdom, and comedy, and that's what I am too.
How do you figure? The clerk said.
Don't bother me, I said. I'm the night manager of this office and when I tell you something it's final.

 
William Saroyan
 

I have long known of Mr. Shaw, read his plays and prefaces, and loved him. I admire heroic effort. Accomplishment I love. What I am about to say is no invention, and I am putting it down for whatever it may be worth to the historian of literature and for the student of influences of men on men, and because it is true and must therefore be made known. As a boy, charging pell-mell through literature, reading everything I could lay hands on in the Public Library of Fresno, I found many men to whom I felt deeply grateful — especially Guy de Maupassant, Jack London, and H. L. Mencken — but the first man to whom I felt definitely related was George Bernard Shaw. This is a presumptuous or fatuous thing to mention, perhaps, but even so it must be mentioned.

 
William Saroyan
 

When you have a precedent set like that, and you have somebody, George Tenet, acknowledging in his book that he knew that the administration was deceiving the American people into a situation that is murdering young men and women from this country and others, that George Tenet and Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice and George Bush, et al., should be in fucking jail.

 
Sean Penn
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