The critic is not the one who debunks, but the one who assembles. The critic is not the one who lifts the rug from under the feet of the naïve believers, but the one who offers the participants arenas in which to gather. The critic is not the one who alternates haphazardly between antifetishism and positivism like the drunk iconoclast drawn by Goya, but the one for whom, if something is constructed, then it means it is fragile and thus in great need of care and caution.
Bruno Latour, "Why Has Critique Run Out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern"
There is a very high degree of unexpectedness, combined with inevitability and economy. The arguments take so odd and surprising a form; the weapons used seem so childishly simple when compared with the far-reaching results; but there is no escape from the conclusions.
G.H. Hardy, "A Mathematician's Apology"
To capture the multiplicity of relations that link (and divide) past from present, the critic needs all the formal resources possible. Multiple perspectives, intertextuality, self-reflexivity, palimpsest structure, and recursive narratives can help one respond to the complexity of cultural history. One needs writing strategies that are equal to the uncanniness of history, the anachronistic, the untimely, the thick knots of connection. One needs the resourcefulness of a bricoleur and the irreverence of a hacker.
Jay Clayton, Charles Dickens in Cyberspace
Any error may vitiate the entire output of the device. For the recognition and correction of such malfunctions intelligent human intervention will in general be necessary.
John von Neumann, First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC, 1945