Good quotes

By Roger Davies / 4 October 2012 / Other

I’d like us to try to collect some nice one-liners, pertaining to intelligence in the most general terms, so let me invite you to post your favourite intell related quotes in the comments below.  I’m open to a very broad interpretation of a quotes applicability to the world of intelligence.  Here’s one of my favourites to kick things off:

The nation that will insist upon drawing a broad line of demarcation between the fighting man and the thinking man is liable to find its fighting done by fools and its thinking by cowards.

William Francis Butler


6 comments on “Good quotes

  1. Panjandrum

    Francis Crick (as in Watson and Crick of DNA fame):

    ‘…the important thing is to ignore data which complicates life’


  2. Andy

    I have mentioned this one before on this blog, but will repeat for the hard of reading. “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” Attributable to a former UK MoD IO.


  3. Andy

    …….and from my all time favourite quotesman Mark Twain……

    “In my experience, only third-rate intelligence is sent to Legislatures to make laws, because the first-rate article will not leave important private interests go unwatched to go and serve the public for a beggarly four or five dollars a day.”


  4. Kier Head

    About officers in general, rather than J2 types in particular… but if the cap fits, wear it!

    Field Marshal Erich Von Manstein (1887-1973), arguably the Wehrmacht’s best World War II military strategists who was dismissed from service by the Fuhrer in March 1944 due to frequent clashes with him over military strategy, later articulated Field Marshal Moltke’s model in the following quote:

    “There are only four types of officer. First, there are the lazy, stupid ones. Leave them alone, they do no harm…Second, there are the hard- working, intelligent ones. They make excellent staff officers, ensuring that every detail is properly considered. Third, there are the hard- working, stupid ones. These people are a menace and must be fired at once. They create irrelevant work for everybody. Finally, there are the intelligent, lazy ones. They are suited for the highest office.”


  5. Panjandrum

    Courtesy of one of our deployed FSRs:

    If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.
    Jim Barksdale, former CEO of Netscape

    Although we often hear that the data speaks for itself, its voice can be soft and sly.
    Frederick Mostelle

    We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.
    E.O. Wilson


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