Marcello Curto
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Europe was so organized socially and economically as to secure the maximum accumulation of capital. While there was some continuous improvement in the daily conditions of life of the mass of the population, Society was so framed as to throw a great part of the increased income into the control of the class least likely to consume it. The new rich of the nineteenth century were not brought up to large expenditures, and preferred the power which investment gave them to the pleasures of immediate consumption. In fact, it was precisely the inequality of the distribution of wealth which made possible those vast accumulations of fixed wealth and of capital improvements which distinguished that age from all others. Herein lay, in fact, the main justification of the Capitalist System. If the rich had spent their new wealth on their own enjoyments, the world would long ago have found such a régime intolerable. But like bees they saved and accumulated, not less to the advantage of the whole community because they themselves held narrower ends in prospect. The immense accumulations of fixed capital which, to the great benefit of mankind, were built up during the half century before the war, could never have come about in a Society where wealth was divided equitably. The railways of the world, which that age built as a monument to posterity, were, not less than the Pyramids of Egypt, the work of labor which was not free to consume in immediate enjoyment the full equivalent of its efforts. Thus this remarkable system depended for its growth on a double bluff or deception. On the one hand the laboring classes accepted from ignorance or powerlessness, or were compelled, persuaded, or cajoled by custom, convention, authority, and the well-established order of Society into accepting, a situation in which they could call their own very little of the cake that they and Nature and the capitalists were co-operating to produce. And on the other hand the capitalist classes were allowed to call the best part of the cake theirs and were theoretically free to consume it, on the tacit underlying condition that they consumed very little of it in practice. The duty of "saving" became nine-tenths of virtue and the growth of the cake the object of true religion. There grew round the non-consumption of the cake all those instincts of puritanism which in other ages has withdrawn itself from the world and has neglected the arts of production as well as those of enjoyment. And so the cake increased; but to what end was not clearly contemplated. Individuals would be exhorted not so much to abstain as to defer, and to cultivate the pleasures of security and anticipation. Saving was for old age or for your children; but this was only in theory,—the virtue of the cake was that it was never to be consumed, neither by you nor by your children after you.

John Maynard Keynes, The Economic Consequences of the Peace
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I tell this story all the time, but when I got to the United States in 1968, we were in the middle of one of those historic, crushing times. The Vietnam War. The Civil Rights Movement. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were both assassinated that year. The Manson family. The Zodiac Killer. Riots at the Democratic National Convention.

For the first year after I moved here, it seemed like everything was happening at once.

But do you know what my clearest memories of that time are? It’s bodybuilders showing up at my new, tiny, barren apartment to bring me plates, silverware, a small black and white TV, a transistor radio, pillowcases, bedsheets, and furniture because they knew I had nothing but my gym bag. It’s being invited to their families’ homes for holiday meals. It’s spending a weekend sleeping on the grass in a park with friends in the Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco. When I do remember the big evening news of that time, my memories are about my friend Artie translating the speeches and headlines for me and helping me learn English.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
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We have recalled our ambassadors to (Canberra and Washington) to re-evaluate the situation. With Britain, there is no need. We know their constant opportunism. So there is no need to bring our ambassador back to explain.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, PM Morrison rejects French accusation that Australia lied over cancelled submarine deal
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Elon Musk @elonmusk • Dec 2, 2020 Science is discovering the essential truths about what exists in the Universe, engineering is about creating things that never existed en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engineer

Elon Musk @elonmusk • Dec 2, 2020 Much of what people think of an science is actually engineering, eg no such thing as a "rocket scientist", only rocket engineers. Latter is who put humans on the moon.

Elon Musk
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Because biographies of famous scientists tend to edit out their mistakes, we underestimate the degree of risk they were willing to take. And because anything a famous scientist did that wasn't a mistake has probably now become the conventional wisdom, those choices don't seem risky either.

Biographies of Newton, for example, understandably focus more on physics than alchemy or theology. The impression we get is that his unerring judgment led him straight to truths no one else had noticed. How to explain all the time he spent on alchemy and theology? Well, smart people are often kind of crazy. But maybe there is a simpler explanation. Maybe the smartness and the craziness were not as separate as we think. Physics seems to us a promising thing to work on, and alchemy and theology obvious wastes of time. But that's because we know how things turned out. In Newton's day the three problems seemed roughly equally promising. No one knew yet what the payoff would be for inventing what we now call physics; if they had, more people would have been working on it. And alchemy and theology were still then in the category Marc Andreessen would describe as "huge, if true."

Newton made three bets. One of them worked. But they were all risky.

Paul Graham, The Risk of Discovery
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Our philosophy is: our money doesn't break after we give it to them, so their parts shouldn't break after they give them to us.

Steve Jobs, MIT Sloan Distinguished Speaker Series
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I am the Jesus Christ of politics. I am a patient victim, I put up with everyone, I sacrifice myself for everyone.

Silvio Berlusconi
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By locking in actors’ salaries, Hollywood studios were able to control the cost of manufacturing their products. Indeed, virtually all their films made money. Since the average cost of producing a film in 1947, including all studio overhead, was only $732,000, and the average net receipts for a studio feature amounted to $1.6 million, filmmaking was a lucrative enterprise for studios.

Edward Jay Epstein, The Big Picture: The New Logic of Money and Power in Hollywood
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The buzzword for clinicians these days is “evidence-based practice”—good doctors are supposed to follow research findings rather than their own intuition or ad-hoc experimentation. Yet Warwick is almost contemptuous of established findings. National clinical guidelines for care are, he says, “a record of the past, and little more—they should have an expiration date.”

Atul Gawande, The Bell Curve
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“This category of recent conspiracy theorists is really a global network of village idiots,” Pozner tells Merlan. “They would have never been able to find each other before, but now it’s this synergistic effect of the combination of all of them from all over the world. There are haters from Australia and Europe and they can all make a YouTube video in fifteen seconds.”

Elizabeth Kolbert, That’s What You Think.
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People don't have time to wait for someone to paint their portrait anymore.

Robert Mapplethorpe
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Most highly successful people have been really right about the future at least once at a time when people thought they were wrong. If not, they would have faced much more competition.

Sam Altman, How To Be Successful
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“The central problem of democracy for nine thousand years has been controlling the passions,” he said.

Benjamin Wallace-Wells, The Fight Over Virginia’s Confederate Monuments
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Subsequently, in 1990, Italian financier Giancarlo Parretti bought MGM for $1.6 billion and told Alan Ladd, Jr., the studio’s head, “You just make the films, I just want to make the actresses.”

Edward Jay Epstein, The Big Picture: The New Logic of Money and Power in Hollywood
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Although energy consumption is the bête noire of today’s environmental movement, it is interesting to contemplate how history would have unfolded if in 1850 technology had been frozen, by risk analysts or environmental impact statements, at the stage of coal gas and whale oil. One happy environmental effect of these new technologies, as Louis Stotz reminds us, was that “the discovery of petroleum in Pennsylvania gave kerosene to the world, and life to the few remaining whales”.

William D. Nordhaus, Do Real-Output and Real-Wage Measures Capture Reality? The History of Lighting Suggests Not
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Risk is overrated. Ruin is underrated.

Ravi Jain
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The course our city runs is the same towards men and money. She has true and worthy sons. She has fine new gold and ancient silver, Coins untouched with alloys, gold or silver, Each well minted, tested each and ringing clear. Yet we never use them! Others pass from hand to hand, Sorry brass just struck last week and branded with a wretched brand. So with men we know for upright, blameless lives and noble names. These we spurn for men of brass...

Aristophanes
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We hope this book will demonstrate that scientists and children belong together in still other ways. Parents are deeply, even passionately interested in children, or at least in their children. But parents find that their interest in children is treated differently from their interest in science. Books about science assume that their readers are serious, knowledgeable, intelligent, sophisticated adults who simply want to know about the things they care about. But books about babies and children are almost all books of advice—how-to books. It's as if the only place you could read about evolution was in dog-breeding manuals, not in Stephen Jay Gould; as if, lacking Stephen Hawking’s insights, the layman's knowledge of the cosmos was reduced to “How to find the constellations.”

Alison Gopnik, The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind
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There will always be cases and years in which, when all goes right, those who take on more risk will do better than we do. In the long run, however, I feel strongly that seeking relative performance which is just a little bit above average on a consistent basis -- with protection against poor absolute results in tough times -- will prove more effective than "swinging for the fences."

Howard Marks, The Route to Performance
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No one knew yet what the payoff would be for inventing what we now call physics; if they had, more people would have been working on it. And alchemy and theology were still then in the category Marc Andreessen would describe as “huge, if true.”

Newton made three bets. One of them worked. But they were all risky.

Paul Graham, The Risk of Discovery
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Stewart, who lives in a restored plantation house in northern Virginia, recognized the power of picking up a symbol that liberals had righteously rejected. “Look,” he told me, “I can go up and down Virginia, I can talk pro-life, and every conservative Republican is going to say, ‘Yeah, I’ve heard that, been there, done that. I agree with you, but it doesn’t make you different.’ When I went around Virginia and talked about preserving the historical monuments, and the lunacy of taking them down, that generated the same amount of guttural reaction and concern that the pro-life movement generated forty years ago.” The monuments are “the new social issue of the twenty-first century,” Stewart said. “That’s where the passion is now.”

Benjamin Wallace-Wells, The Fight Over Virginia’s Confederate Monuments
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DEAN: Do you mean to tell me that you're thinking seriously of building that way, when and if you are an architect? HOWARD ROARK: Yes. DEAN: My dear fellow, who will let you? HOWARD ROARK: That's not the point. The point is, who will stop me?

Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead
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Did any of your business-smart, street-wise or academically-gifted peers in high school declare that their dream was to go work for Ketchum the P.R. firm and become the world’s expert in smearing whistleblowers? Or even work as a lobbyist or public relation expert? These jobs are indicative of necessary failure in other things.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Skin of Others in your Game
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My father turned to me and said, “Son, do you know what’s cheap?” Since I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about, I replied, “No, what?” “Flowers. Flowers are really cheap. But do you know what’s expensive?” he asked. Again, I replied, “No, what?” He said,“ Divorce.”

Ben Horowitz, The Hard Thing About Hard Things