„Almost all the serious achievements are simple in principle... the ideas must be sufficiently simple.“

—  John Clive Ward, As quoted in
John Clive Ward
1924 - 2000
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„Love is almost never simple.“

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„To live outside the law, you must be honest.“

—  Bob Dylan, da Absolutely Sweet Marie, n.° 11

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„Händel is the unattained master of all masters. Go and learn from him how to achieve vast effects with simple means.“

—  George Frideric Handel German, later British Baroque composer 1685 - 1759
Beethoven, quoted by Ignaz von Seyfried. Published in Friedrich Kerst Beethoven der Mann und der Künstler, wie in seinen Eigenen Words enthüllt no. 111 http://www.bucheralle.org/6C76626D613131/ch35.html;Friedrich Kerst (trans. Henry Edward Krehbiel) Beethoven, the Man and the Artist, as Revealed in his own Words (1964), p. 54.

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„It is a simple fact that all of us use the techniques of acting to achieve whatever ends we seek.“

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„But of all these principles ours is the most simple; by the others we should be led into the most complicated calculations.“

—  Carl Friedrich Gauss German mathematician and physical scientist 1777 - 1855
Context: The principle that the sum of the squares of the differences between the observed and computed quantities must be a minimum may, in the following manner, be considered independently of the calculus of probabilities. When the number of unknown quantities is equal to the number of the observed quantities depending on them, the former may be so determined as exactly to satisfy the latter. But when the number of the former is less than that of the latter, an absolutely exact agreement cannot be obtained, unless the observations possess absolute accuracy. In this case care must be taken to establish the best possible agreement, or to diminish as far as practicable the differences. This idea, however, from its nature, involves something vague. For, although a system of values for the unknown quantities which makes all the differences respectively less than another system, is without doubt to be preferred to the latter, still the choice between two systems, one of which presents a better agreement in some observations, the other in others, is left in a measure to our judgment, and innumerable different principles can be proposed by which the former condition is satisfied. Denoting the differences between observation and calculation by A, A’, A’’, etc., the first condition will be satisfied not only if AA + A’ A’ + A’’ A’’ + etc., is a minimum (which is our principle) but also if A4 + A’4 + A’’4 + etc., or A6 + A’6 + A’’6 + etc., or in general, if the sum of any of the powers with an even exponent becomes a minimum. But of all these principles ours is the most simple; by the others we should be led into the most complicated calculations. Theoria motus corporum coelestium in sectionibus conicis solem ambientum (1809) Tr. Charles Henry Davis as Theory of the Motion of the Heavenly Bodies moving about the Sun in Conic Sections http://books.google.com/books?id=cspWAAAAMAAJ& (1857)

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„Poetry must be simple, sensuous, or impassioned.“

—  Emma Lazarus American poet 1849 - 1887
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„The problem with general relativity is that the principles are pretty simple and the computations are always ugly.“

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„I believe that the most important principle is a very simple one“

—  Barack Obama 44th President of the United States of America 1961
Context: And I think one of the things that's important for bringing about further progress is that we listen to each other and we understand our differences. I don't think it's necessary for us to all speak one language, or all have the same foods, or all have the same customs. But I do believe that there are some universal principles that are important. I believe that the most important principle is a very simple one that is at the heart of most of the world’s great religions, which is treat somebody the same way you’d want to be treated. And if you start with that basic premise, then we will continue to make progress. But I also think that in order for us to make progress, we have to have that fellow feeling and we have to combine that with the use of our brains and reason, and our intellect. […] That requires not just a strong heart, but also using our heads. And if we do those two things, then I feel confident that we'll make progress.

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„Hence the love of God in the pure and simple soul is almost continually in act.“

—  John of the Cross Spanish mystic and Roman Catholic saint 1542 - 1591
Context: Souls will be unable to reach perfection who do not strive to be content with having nothing, in such fashion that their natural and spiritual desire is satisfied with emptiness; for this is necessary in order to reach the highest tranquility and peace of spirit. Hence the love of God in the pure and simple soul is almost continually in act.

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„In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox.“

—  G. K. Chesterton English mystery novelist and Christian apologist 1874 - 1936
Context: In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, "I don't see the use of this; let us clear it away." To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: "If you don't see the use of it, I certainly won't let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it." This paradox rests on the most elementary common sense. The gate or fence did not grow there. It was not set up by somnambulists who built it in their sleep. It is highly improbable that it was put there by escaped lunatics who were for some reason loose in the street. Some person had some reason for thinking it would be a good thing for somebody. And until we know what the reason was, we really cannot judge whether the reason was reasonable. It is extremely probable that we have overlooked some whole aspect of the question, if something set up by human beings like ourselves seems to be entirely meaningless and mysterious. There are reformers who get over this difficulty by assuming that all their fathers were fools; but if that be so, we can only say that folly appears to be a hereditary disease. But the truth is that nobody has any business to destroy a social institution until he has really seen it as an historical institution. If he knows how it arose, and what purposes it was supposed to serve, he may really be able to say that they were bad purposes, or that they have since become bad purposes, or that they are purposes which are no longer served. But if he simply stares at the thing as a senseless monstrosity that has somehow sprung up in his path, it is he and not the traditionalist who is suffering from an illusion. Ch. IV : The Drift From Domesticity

„Quite apart from the prestige of technology, people do, after all, prefer a simple idea to a complex one.“

—  Bernard Crick British political theorist and democratic socialist 1929 - 2008
Chapter 5, A Defence Of Politics Against Technology, p. 106.

„The general acceptance of simple ideas is difficult and rare, and yet it is only when simple, fundamental, ideas have been accepted that further progress becomes possible on a higher level.“

—  George Sarton American historian of science 1884 - 1956
Context: The ability of nonintelligent people to understand the most complicated mechanisms and to use them has always been to me a cause of astonishment: their inability to understand simple questions is even more astonishing. The general acceptance of simple ideas is difficult and rare, and yet it is only when simple, fundamental, ideas have been accepted that further progress becomes possible on a higher level. Preface.

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