There is a saying that every nice piece of work needs the right person in the right place at the right time.
Think of color, pitch, loudness, heaviness, and hotness. Each is the topic of a branch of physics.
Order doesn't come by itself.
Although computer memory is no longer expensive, there's always a finite size buffer somewhere. When a big piece of news arrives, everybody sends a message to everybody else, and the buffer fills.
Nobody will deny that there is at least some roughness everywhere.
Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line.
For much of my life there was no place where the things I wanted to investigate were of interest to anyone.
There is a joke that your hammer will always find nails to hit. I find that perfectly acceptable.
One of my conjectures was solved in six months, a second in five years, a third in 10. But the basic conjecture remains-the Mandelbrot Set.
The techniques I developed for studying turbulence, like weather, also apply to the stock market.
Most were beginning to feel they had learned enough to last for the rest of their lives. They remained mathematicians, but largely went their own way.
An extraordinary amount of arrogance is present in any claim of having been the first in inventing something.
Until a few years ago, the topics in my Ph.D. were unfashionable, but they are very popular today.
When the weather changes, nobody believes the laws of physics have changed. Similarly, I don't believe that when the stock market goes into terrible gyrations its rules have changed.
My fate has been that what I undertook was fully understood only after the fact.
I don't seek power and do not run around.
Smooth shapes are very rare in the wild but extremely important in the ivory tower and the factory.
A cloud is made of billows upon billows upon billows that look like clouds. As you come closer to a cloud you don't get something smooth, but irregularities at a smaller scale.
I was in an industrial laboratory because academia found me unsuitable.
Now that I near 80, I realize with wistful pleasure that on many occasions I was 10, 20, 40, even 50 years ahead of my time.
More Benoit Mandelbrot Quotations (Based on Topics)
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Rene Descartes - Archimedes - Pythagoras - Marston Morse - Leonhard Euler - Johann Kepler - Daniel J. Bernstein - Daniel Bernoulli - Charles Babbage - Carl Friedrich Gauss