Aphorisms by Oleg Vishnepolsky

Posted on June 7, 2009
Filed Under Aphorisms | 12 Comments

Oleg Vishnepolsky was one of the early technologists and researchers at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center in the 1980s, and was thus present at the creation of some of the critical advances that made the Internet possible. Some of his sayings come out of his corporate experience: “Good project management is building a novel out of a bunch of short stories.” Vishnepolsky’s father was an editor at Pravda; his mother a professor of the arts. Despite his choice of a technical career, Vishnepolsky retained a love for art, journalism, poetry, and aphorisms. A selection of his own:

A choice is the only thing you kill by making it.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him how to fish and you create an environmental problem.

Small actions beat big intentions.

A relationship that lasts is built not on a win-win but on a sacrifice-sacrifice.

A relationship is an hourglass; sometimes, you have to turn it upside down to get it going again.

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around, the firewood is yours for the taking.

A joke is a soap bar; it gets thinner with use.

If you bump into a devil you do not know, quickly introduce yourself.

The last person into an elevator is the first person out.

Comments

12 Responses to “Aphorisms by Oleg Vishnepolsky”

  1. marty rubin on June 8th, 2009 12:59 pm

    Wonderful! I really enjoyed these.

  2. marty rubin on June 8th, 2009 1:00 pm

    Upside down, the world still doesn’t make sense.

  3. Candadai Tirumalai on June 8th, 2009 1:37 pm

    One tells the same joke to different audiences, another to the same people at different times.

  4. Oleg Vishnepolsky on June 12th, 2009 12:50 pm

    James is very kind, and I am really flattered to be included in his blog.
    P.S. I just received James’ book, “Geary’s Guide to the World’s Great Aphorists” and I have to admit this is the best selection of aphorisms I have seen, and I do have quite a collection of other books. What makes James’ book so unique is not only the one of a kind selection of international aphorisms, but his own analysis into the thought process that goes into creating new lines.
    Oleg Vishnepolsky

  5. Aphorisms (Oleg Vishnepolsky) « Cosmopoetica on November 23rd, 2009 3:01 am

    [...] few examples from a selection of Oleg Vishnepolsky aphorisms: “If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around, the firewood is yours for the [...]

  6. Aphorisms (Oleg Vishnepolsky) | Cosmopoetica on January 23rd, 2010 1:06 am

    [...] few examples from a selection of Oleg Vishnepolsky aphorisms: “If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around, the firewood is yours for the taking.” [...]

  7. mel on June 5th, 2010 10:34 am

    Or my favorite: “When you are expected to exceed expectations, expect the unexpected” — Oleg Vishnepolsky

  8. Bill Cashman on October 12th, 2011 11:16 pm

    Interesting, amusing and insightful…. Found this because I was supposed to interview with Oleg today…

  9. More Aphorisms by Oleg Vishnepolsky > All Aphorisms, All the Time on November 5th, 2011 1:47 pm

    [...] first blogged about Oleg Vishnepolsky back in 2009, and now he’s back with some more merry musings on art, life, technology and [...]

  10. Clara on November 9th, 2011 3:20 pm

    It took me about 30 years to learn more different sides (secrets?)about Oleg

  11. Leonid S. Sukhorukov on January 8th, 2012 8:10 pm

    * An aphorism is a one-line novel.
    Leonid S. SUKHORUKOV
    Book of 400 aphorisms of a lifetime “All About Everything”, UK, 2005.

  12. marty rubin on January 10th, 2012 5:06 am

    Splinters wait patiently in the dark for bare feet.

Leave a Reply