„The systems approach to problems does not mean that the most generally formulated problem must be solved in one research project. However desirable this may be, it is seldom possible to realize it in practice. In practice, parts of the total problem are usually solved in sequence. In many cases the total problem cannot be formulated in advance but the solution of one phase of it helps define the next phase. For example, a production control project may require determination of the most economic production quantities of different items. Once these are found it may turn out that these quantities cannot be produced on the available equipment in the available time. This, then, gives rise to a new problem whose solution will affect the solution obtained in the first phase.“


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Tjalling Koopmans photo
Shimon Peres photo

„If a problem has no solution, it may not be a problem, but a fact, not to be solved, but to be coped with over time.“

—  Shimon Peres Israeli politician, 8th prime minister and 9th president of Israel 1923 - 2016
As quoted by Donald Rumsfeld in "Sharon's Victory" https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB981508176687515426, Wall Street Journal (7 February 2001)


„A system represents someone's solution to a problem. The system doesn't solve the problem.“

—  John Gall American physician 1925 - 2014
p. 74 Cited in: Roger Kaufman and Fenwick W. English (1979) Needs Assessment: Concept and Application, p. 94

Theodore Roosevelt photo
Russell L. Ackoff photo
Herbert A. Simon photo

„The capacity of the human mind for formulating and solving complex problems is very small compared with the size of the problems whose solution is required for objectively rational behavior in the real world—or even for a reasonable approximation to such objective rationality.“

—  Herbert A. Simon American political scientist, economist, sociologist, and psychologist 1916 - 2001
p. 198; Cited in: P. Slovic (1972) From Shakespeare to Simon: Speculations - And Some Evidence About Man's Ability to Process Information. Oregon Research Institute Monograph, 1972. p. 1.

Leonid Kantorovich photo

„I discovered that a whole range of problems of the most diverse character relating to the scientific organization of production (questions of the optimum distribution of the work of machines and mechanisms, the minimization of scrap, the best utilization of raw materials and local materials, fuel, transportation, and so on) lead to the formulation of a single group of mathematical problems (extremal problems). These problems are not directly comparable to problems considered in mathematical analysis. It is more correct to say that they are formally similar, and even turn out to be formally very simple, but the process of solving them with which one is faced [i. e., by mathematical analysis] is practically completely unusable, since it requires the solution of tens of thousands or even millions of systems of equations for completion.
I have succeeded in finding a comparatively simple general method of solving this group of problems which is applicable to all the problems I have mentioned, and is sufficiently simple and effective for their solution to be made completely achievable under practical conditions.“

—  Leonid Kantorovich Russian mathematician 1912 - 1986
Kantorovich (1960) "Mathematical Methods of Organizing and Planning Production." Management Science, 6(4):366–422, 1960, p. 368); As cited in: Cockshott, W. Paul. " Mises, Kantorovich and economic computation http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/publications/PAPERS/8707/standalonearticle.pdf." (2007).

Piet Hein photo

„Art is this: art is the solution of a problem which cannot be expressed explicitly until it is solved.“

—  Piet Hein Danish puzzle designer, mathematician, author, poet 1577 - 1629
Context: After all, what is art? Art is the creative process and it goes through all fields. Einstein’s theory of relativity — now that is a work of art! Einstein was more of an artist in physics than on his violin. Art is this: art is the solution of a problem which cannot be expressed explicitly until it is solved. As quoted in Man Creates Art Creates Man (1973) by Duane Preble, p. 14 Variant translation: Art is solving problems that cannot be formulated before they have been solved. The shaping of the question is part of the answer. As quoted in Architecture: form, space, and order (2007) by Francis D.K. Ching, p. ix

Bill Nye photo
Immanuel Kant photo
Albert Einstein photo
Rasmus Lerdorf photo

„Ugly problems often require ugly solutions. Solving an ugly problem in a pure manner is bloody hard.“

—  Rasmus Lerdorf Danish programmer and creator of PHP 1968
php.devel Mailing List, October 2002 http://osdir.com/ml/php.devel/2002-10/msg00704.html

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“