Reviewers who are best placed to understand an author's work are the least likely to draw attention to its achievements, but are prolific sources of minor criticism, especially the identification of typos.
His Second Law, evolved (I suspect) after editing Nature for some 23 years. (Maddox died on 12 April 2009.)
Is it really so very unthinkable,
That Rodin's "The Thinker" is linkable,
To the desperately cool
Meditation at stool
When one knows that one's passed an unsinkable?
In a "New Statesman" competition entry.
Our Basil has featured often in those New Statesman competitions, but I've discovered that this is the verse that, when skilfully deployed, can cause serial loss of breakfast cereal as it sinks in around a table of munchers...
The best person to decide what research shall be done is the man who is doing the research. The next best is the head of the department. After that you ... meet increasingly worse groups. The first of these is the Research Director, who is probably wrong more than half the time. Then comes a committee which is wrong most of the time. Finally there is a committee of company vice-presidents, which is wrong all the time.
Writing in the 1930s, I suspect.
Charles Mees was (many years ago) the Research Director at Kodak Ltd.
There are three roads to ruin:
2. gambling, and
The most pleasant is with women, the quickest is with gambling, but the surest is with technicians.
Though, on Peter Norvig's pages I found a very similar quotation attributed to Baron Rothschild.
What men value in this world is not rights but privileges.
In "Minority Report" (1956).
I placed Mencken's quote against a Ron Cobb cartoon that asserted "The bicentennial is a time to celebrate our rights and freedoms... not use them!"
Every revolution evaporates, and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.
Folks with years of experience with Windows know that whenever one encounters something foul and corrupt, the first place to look is the Registry, so let's hook up the sewage pump and sieve and see what we may find in that nexus of incompetent, user-hostile design.
John Walker, in "How to Play DVDs with any Region Code on Windows 98".
Almost equally Kafka-esque!
I always liked the fine print in the McCullough chainsaw manual which says "keep reading this manual until you understand it".
Saint Pilling was taking a tiny bit of stick regarding some of the instructions on his Ovation Pro (DTP program) "CD" website.