This quick post is largely for testing purposes. It aims at sharing four motivational quotes that I carefully selected for the introductory page of the front matter of my PhD thesis. It was entitled Statistical issues in modelling and forecasting sequential count data and examined by professors James Taylor of Oxford University and Williams Dunsmuir of the University of New South Wales at the end of 2012. I will revisit some of the more interesting points developed there in this blog but for now, here are the promised quotes in the original order.
It is not knowledge, but the act of learning, not possession but the act of getting there, which grants the greatest enjoyment. When I have clarified and exhausted a subject, then I turn away from it, in order to go into darkness again; the never-satisfied man is so strange if he has completed a structure, then it is not in order to dwell in it peacefully, but in order to begin another. I imagine the world conqueror must feel thus, who, after one kingdom is scarcely conquered, stretches out his arms for others.
– Carl Friedrich Gauss
Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.
– Winston Churchill
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day, you shall begin it well and serenely…
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
You can’t be perfect, but if you don’t try, you won’t be good enough.
– Paul Halmos
We all procrastinate from time to time, and my favourite way to do that while working on my thesis was to read much of what Paul Halmos wrote. The quickest way to learn what he wrote about, and how, is probably by reading this article by John Ewing.