Excerpt: "Don't get enamored with the complexities you have learned to live with (be they of your own making or imported). The lurking suspicion that something could be simplified is the world's richest source of rewarding challenges."
Excerpt: "Never tackle a problem of which you can be pretty sure that (now or in the near future) it will be tackled by others who are, in relation to that problem, at least as competent and well-equipped as you are."
Excerpt: "I would therefore like to posit that computing's central challenge, viz. "How not to make a mess of it", has not been met. On the contrary, most of our systems are much more complicated than can be considered healthy, and are too messy and chaotic to be used in comfort and confidence."
Excerpt: "There is another trait that took me many years to notice, and that is the ability to tolerate ambiguity. Most people want to believe what they learn is the truth: there are a few people who doubt everything. If you believe too much then you are not likely to find the essentially new view that transforms a field, and if you doubt too much you will not be able to do much at all. It is a fine balance between believing what you learn and at the same time doubting things."
Excerpt: "Brains come in all kinds of flavors. Experimental physicists do not think the same way as theoreticians do. Some experimentalists seem to think with their hands, i.e., playing with equipment lets them think more clearly. It took me a few years to realize that people who did not know a lot of mathematics still could contribute. Just because they could not solve a quadratic equation immediately in their head did not mean I should ignore them."
Sermon on "Striving for Simplicity": http://www.cs.utexas.edu/~dahlin/professional/sermon1.pdf
Excerpt: "Research in an area goes through three stages- naive simplicity, complexity, and a second simplicity. Do not confuse the first with the third."
"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