situation that invites resolution
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A problem is a doubtful or difficult matter requiring a solution, or something hard to understand, accomplish or deal with.
- A problem never exists in isolation; it is surrounded by other problems in space and time. The more of the context of a problem that a scientist can comprehend, the greater are his chances of finding a truly adequate solution.
- Russell L. Ackoff, The development of operations research as a science (1956)
- Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.
- Isaac Asimov, "How Easy to See the Future", Natural History magazine (April 1975); later published in Asimov on Science Fiction (1981)
- After 25 years of buying and supervising a great variety of businesses, Charlie and I have not learned how to solve difficult business problems. What we have learned is to avoid them. To the extent we have been successful, it is because we concentrated on identifying one-foot hurdles that we could step over because we acquired any ability to clear seven-footers.
- The problems of three little people don’t add up to a hill of beans in this crazy world.
- Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, Howard Koch Casablanca (film) as quoted in Telegraph
- It is only insofar as some sort of order arises as a result of individual action but without being designed by any individual that a problem is raised.
- Friedrich Hayek, The Counter-Revolution of Science : Studies on the Abuse of Reason (1979)
- To think out a problem is not unlike drawing a caricature. You have to exaggerate the salient point and leave out that which is not typical. "To illustrate a principle," says Bagehot, "you must exaggerate much and you must omit much." As to the quantity of absolute truth in a thought: it seems to me the more comprehensive and unobjectionable a thought becomes, the more clumsy and unexciting it gets. I like half-truths of a certain kind — they are interesting and they stimulate.
- Eric Hoffer, Entry (1950)
- Basic human problems can have no final solutions.
- Eric Hoffer, The Temper of Our Time (1967)
- Problems or successes, they all are the results of our own actions. Karma. The philosophy of action is that no one else is the giver of peace or happiness. One's own karma, one's own actions are responsible to come to bring either happiness or success or whatever.
- You know where I'm from; you know what I represent. Got a problem? Say that then, say that then. Say that then, want a problem? Say that then, say that then.
- Jason Martin, "Say That Then" (June 2013).
- I spent a lifetime trying to avoid my own mental biases. (A) I rub my nose in my own mistakes. (B) I try to keep it simple and fundamental as I can. And I like the engineering concept of a margin of safety. I am a very blocking-and-tackling kind of a thinker. I just try and avoid being stupid. And I have a way of handling a lot of problems. I put them on what I call my too-hard pile. And I just leave them there. I'm not trying to succeed in my too-hard pile.
- Charlie Munger, (December 17, 2020)"A Conversation with Distinguished Alumnus Charles T. Munger (CERT '44, CAVU)". Caltech, YouTube. (quote at 17:15 of 58:41)
- If you think cryptography is the answer to your problem, then you don't know what your problem is.
- Peter G. Neumann, quoted in The New York Times, February 20 2001.
- What makes a problem a problem is not that a large amount of search is required for its solution, but that a large amount would be required if a requisite level of intelligence were not applied.
- Allen Newell and Herbert Simon, (1975) Computer Science as Empirical Inquiry: Symbols and Search. Turing Award Lecture. p. 122
- Here's how to look at problems: Problems are guidelines, not stop signs!
- Robert H. Schuller, Move Ahead with Possibility Thinking (1967), p. 90 in the 1986 reprint
- Widely attributed in paraphrase: "Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines."
- When you create a problem, you create pain. All it takes is a simple choice, a simple decision: no matter what happens, I will create no more pain for myself. I will create no more problems. Although it is a simple choice, it is also very radical. You won' t make that choice unless you are truly fed up with suffering, unless you have truly had enough. And you won't be able to go through with it unless you access the power of the Now. If you create no more pain for yourself, then you create no more pain for others. You also no longer contaminate the beautiful Earth, your inner space, and the collective human psyche with the negativity of problem-making. If you have ever been in a life-or-death emergency situation, you will know that it wasn't a problem. The mind didn't have time to fool around and make it into a problem. In a true emergency, the mind stops; you become totally present in the Now, and something infinitely more powerful takes over. This is why there are many reports of ordinary people suddenly becoming capable of incredibly courageous deeds. In any emergency, either you survive or you don't. Either way, it is not a problem.
- Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (1997) p. 45
- As the egoic mode of consciousness and all the social, political, and economic structures that it created enter the final stage of collapse, the relationships between men and women reflect the deep state of crisis in which humanity now finds itself. As humans have become increasingly identified with their mind, most relationships are not rooted in Being and so turn into a source of pain and become dominated by problems and conflict.
- Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (1997) p. 99
- A good way to define alcohol abuse is this: If it causes a problem, it is a problem.
- Cyndi Turner, Can I Keep Drinking?: How You Can Decide When Enough is Enough (2016)
- The main source of problems is solutions.
- Eric Sevareid, as quoted in Albert A. Bartlett, "Guest Editorial: You can't run your Ferrari in this footrace", American Journal of Physics 51(9), pp781-782 (1983)