Roi Baer

רועי בר

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Fritz Haber Research Center for Molecular Dynamics, Institute of Chemistry,
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904, Israel. Tel: +972-2-658-6108



"Wise men make proverbs, but fools repeat them." - Samuel Palmer (1805-80)

וְרָאִיתִי אָנִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ יִתְרוֹן לַחָכְמָה מִן הַסִּכְלוּת כִּיתְרוֹן הָאוֹר מִן הַחֹשֶׁךְ.

קהלת ב' יג'

Then I saw that wisdom excels folly, as far as light excels darkness.

Ecclestiastes 2:13.

אַתֶּם טֹפְלֵי-שָׁקֶר, רֹפְאֵי אֱלִל כֻּלְּכֶם
מִי-יִתֵּן, הַחֲרֵשׁ תַּחֲרִישׁוּן...
אִם כְּהָתֵל בֶּאֱנוֹשׁ תְּהָתֵלּוּ בו
שִׁמְעוּ נָא תוֹכַחְתִּי, וְרִבוֹת שְׂפָתַי הַקְשִׁיבוּ...

כִּי-לֹא לְפָנָיו, חָנֵף יָבוֹא...

(איוב  י"ג)

You lay your lies, ghost-gods you all
Oh! Let you all be silenced dumb...
Hear my admonitions and to my lips' accusations do listen...
Because no flatterer shall dwell in His presence.

בֶּן זוֹמָא אוֹמֵר:

אֵיזֶהוּ חָכָם? הַלּוֹמֵד מִכָּל אָדָם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: (תהלים קיט, צט) מִכָּל מְלַמְּדַי הִשְׂכַּלְתִּי כִּי עֵדְוֹתֶיךָ שִׂיחָה לִּי.

אֵיזֶהוּ גִבּוֹר? הַכּוֹבֵשׁ אֶת יִצְרוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: (משלי טז, לב) טוֹב אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם מִגִּבּוֹר וּמשֵׁל בְּרוּחוֹ מִלֹּכֵד עִיר.

אֵיזֶהוּ עָשִׁיר? הַשָּׂמֵחַ בְּחֶלְקוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: (תהלים קכח, ב) יְגִיעַ כַּפֶּיךָ כִּי תֹאכֵל אַשְׁרֶיךָ וְטוֹב לָךְ. אַשְׁרֶיךָ, בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה. וטוֹב לָךְ, לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא.

אֵיזֶהוּ מְכֻבָּד? הַמְכַבֵּד אֶת הַבְּרִיּוֹת, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: (ש"א ב, ל) כִּי מְכַבְּדַי אֲכַבֵּד וּבֹזַי יֵקָלוּ:

(משנה אבות ד' א)

“Who is wise? He learns from every man… Who is strong? He overpowers his inclinations… Who is rich? One who is satisfied with his lot… Who is honorable? One who honors his fellows.” – Ben Zoma, Ethics of Patriarchs, 4:1

bullet"They asked: Why do wise men call upon the wealthy while the wealthy abstain from the wise?
And he answered: T'is that the wise are cognizant of wealth but the wealthy spurn wisdom."
bullet"The highest virtue in man - that he is forever asking."
bullet"Think neither a thousand friends many nor a single enemy few."
bullet"A needle's eye is ample space for two lovers while the world's breadth will not suffice for two enemies"

Rabbi Shlomo Ibn Gavirol (approx 1020-1060)

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Science is for those who learn; poetry, for those who know. Joseph Roux
In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite. Paul A. M. Dirac
There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact! Mark Twain, The Atlantic Monthly, 36 193 (1875)
Poetry can communicate before it is understood T. S. Eliot
We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. T. S. Eliot
bullet“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers”
bulletTo succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.
bullet“If there were no God, it would have been necessary to invent him.”
There's a statistical theory that if you gave a million monkeys typewriters and set them to work, they'd eventually come up with the complete works of Shakespeare. Thanks to the Internet, we now know this isn't true. Ian Hart
Men think epilepsy divine, merely because they do not understand it. But if they called everything divine which they do not understand, why, there would be no end of divine things. Hippocrates (ca. 460-377 BCE)
bullet"What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite." Skeptical Essays (1928)
bulletThe fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt. "Christian Ethics" from Marriage and Morals (1950),
bullet"Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do."
bullet"It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this." "An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish", in Unpopular Essays
bulletMan is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones. "An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish", in Unpopular Essays
Bertrand Russell

Bernard Russel (1872-1970)
bullet"All you need is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure"
bullet"Faith is believing what you know ain't so."
bullet"One of the proofs of the immortality of the soul is that myriads have believed in it. They have also believed the world was flat."
Mark Twain (1835-1910)
bullet"Faith: not wanting to know what is true."
bullet"God is a thought making crooked all that is straight."
bullet"Mystical explanations are thought to be deep; the truth is that they are not even shallow." 
Friedrich Nietzche 1844-1900
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. Antoine de St. Exupery 1900-1944
Scientific innovations are forever attributed only to their last discoverer Daniel J. Amit
Confidence is what you feel before you really understand no sure....
bullet"I am a great believer in luck: I find that the harder I work, the more I have of it."
bullet"Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear. "
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
bulletOnce you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed...
bulletAll truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
bulletOpinion is like a pendulum and obeys harmonic laws. If it goes past the centre of gravity on one side, it must later go a like distance on the other; and it is only after a certain time that it finds the true point at which it can remain at rest. 
bulletBoredom is just the reverse side of fascination: both depend on being outside rather than inside a situation, and one leads to the other.
bulletThe alchemists in their search for gold discovered many other things of greater value.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)
“It is pretty clear, if reality does not determine the measured value, at least the measurable value determines reality” E. Schrodinger
"When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong." Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983)
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats. Aiken Howard (1900-1973)
bullet"In physics the truth is rarely perfectly clear, and that is certainly universally the case in human affairs. Hence, what is not surrounded by uncertainty cannot be the truth."
bulletI am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don't know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we're here.

Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it.

Richard Feynman (1918-1988)

The great tragedy of science is the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. T. H. Huxley (1825-1895) will occasionally stumble over the truth, but usually manages to pick himself up, walk over or around it, and carry on.
bulletSuccess is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
There are sadistic scientists who hurry to hunt down errors instead of establishing the truth. Marie S. Curie (1867-1934)
A scientist in his laboratory is not a mere technician: he is also a child confronting natural phenomena that impress him as though they were fairy tales.
In science, we must be interested in things, not in persons.
I am one of those who think like Nobel, that humanity will draw more good than evil from new discoveries.

"The pencil is mightier than the pen."

R. M. Pirsig
"The best proof of intelligent life in space is that they have never tried to contact us." Woody Allen.
"Photons have mass ?!? I didn't even know they were Catholic..."
"Astronomers say the universe is finite, which is a comforting thought for those people who can't remember where they leave things."
"When small men cast large shadows, it’s a sure sign that the sun is setting." Nathaniel Lee (1649-1692)
The secret is comprised in three words — Work, finish, publish. Michael Farady
Nature is our kindest friend and best critic in experimental science if we only allow her intimations to fall unbiased on our minds.

It seems sometimes that through a preoccupation with science, we acquire a firmer hold over the vicissitudes of life and meet them with greater calm, but in reality we have done no more than to find a way to escape from our sorrows.

Hermann Minkowski in a letter to David Hilbert

Never mistake motion for action. Ernest Hemingway (1899 - 1950)
"Prediction is very difficult. Especially about the future."

You think people can hear us? – Oh yes, already many have closed their windows
Storm P logo, 1882-1949