In IBM we frequently refer to our need for our 'wild ducks.' The moral is drawn from a story by the Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard who told of a man who fed the wild ducks flying south in great flocks each fall. After a while some of the ducks no longer bothered to fly south; they wintered in Denmark on what he fed them. in time they flew less and less. After three or four years they grew so lazy and fat that they found difficulty in flying at all. Kierkegaard drew his point: you can make wild ducks tame, but you can never make tame ducks wild again. One might also add that the duck who is tamed will never go anywhere any more. We are convinced that any business needs its wild ducks. And in IBM we try not to tame them.
— Former IBM Chairman Thomas J. Watson, Jr.
A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules, often with the assistance of unsuspecting musicians.
— Frank Zappa
I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown,
for going out, I found, was really going in.
— John Muir
The summit of Mt. Everest is marine limestone.
— from "Annals of the Former World" (1998), by John McPhee