Thoughts & Sayings

“Fish are like trees…” :  the original statement was…

“Managing fisheries is hard: it’s like managing a forest, in which the trees are invisible and keep moving around”

(from an unpublished lecture at Princeton University, ca 1978)

“The real goal of fisheries management is to avoid finding out what the stock-recruitment relationship is. Once you have depleted the stock enough to know, it’s probably too late”

(from an argument with David Cushing, ca 1980)

Shepherd’s Law of Legibilty: The probability that a document will be read is approximately 1/N, where N is the number of pages.

(First enunciated ca 1990)

“Those who are ignorant of the past are condemned to misunderstand the future”

First used in a lecture promoting the study of past climate, ca 2004)
(re-working of “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” by philosopher George Santayana, in The Life of Reason (1905).