Some quotes I find here and there.

Freedom for the wolves has often meant death to the sheep.

Isaiah Berlin

No doubt all this makes it easier to see the two as fundamentally different sorts of activity, making it hard for us to recognize interpretive labor—for example, or most of what we usually think of as women's work—as labor at all. To my mind it would probably be better to recognize it as the primary form of labor. Insofar as a clear distinction can be made here, it's the care, energy, and labor directed at human beings that should be considered fundamental. The things we care about most—our loves, passions, rivalries, obsessions—are always other people, and in most societies that are not capitalist, it's taken for granted that the manufacture of material goods is a subordinate moment in a larger process of fashioning people. In fact, I would argue that one of the most alienating aspects of capitalism is the fact that it forces us to pretend that it is the other way around, and that societies exist primarily to increase their output of things.

David Graeber

¡Pobre México, tan lejos de Dios y tan cerca de los Estados Unidos!

Porfirio Díaz

US admissions departments make applicants jump through a lot of arbitrary hoops that have little to do with their intellectual ability. But the more arbitrary a test, the more it becomes a test of mere determination and resourcefulness. And those are the two most important qualities in startup founders. So US admissions departments are better at selecting founders than they would be if they were better at selecting students.

Paul Graham

In fact, superheroes seem almost utterly lacking in imagination. Bruce Wayne, with all the money in the world, can't seem to think of anything to do wich it other than to design even more high-tech weaponry and indulge in the occasional act of charity. In the same way it never seems to occur to Superman that he could easily end world hunger or carve free magic cities out of mountains. Almost never do superheroes make, create, or build anything. The villains, in contrast, are relentlessly creative.

David Graeber

Fantasy literature then, is largely an attempt to imagine a world utterly purged of bureaucracy, which readers enjoy both as a form of vicarious escapism and as reassurance that ultimately, a boring, administered world is probably preferable to any imaginable alternative.

David Graeber

There was a time when academia was society's refuge for the eccentric, brilliant, and impractical. No longer. It is now the domain of professional self-marketers.

David Graeber

Or consider Star Trek, that quintessence of American mythology. Is not the Federation of Planets—with its high-minded idealism, strict military discipline, and apparent lack of both class differences and any real evidence of multiparty democracy—really just an Americanized vision of a kinder, gentler Soviet Union, and above all, one that actually "worked"?

David Graeber

Die berühmte Kritik der russischen Revolution, die Rosa Luxemburg 1918, noch im Gefängnis, verfaßt hatte, klingt manchem heute prophetisch:

«Freiheit nur für die Anhänger der Regierung, nur für die Mitglieder einer Partei, ist keine Freiheit. Freiheit ist immer nur Freiheit des Andersdenkenden. Ohne allgemeine Wahlen, ungehemmte Presse- und Versammlungsfreiheit, ohne freien Meinungskampf erstirbt das Leben in jeder öffentlichen Institution, wird zum Scheinleben, in dem die Bürokratie allein das tätige Element bleibt. Das öffentliche Leben schläft allmählich ein, einige Dutzend Parteiführer von unerschöpflicher Energie und grenzenlosem Idealismus dirigieren und regieren, unter ihnen leitet in Wirklichkeit ein Dutzend hervorragender Köpfe, und eine Elite der Arbeiterschaft wird von Zeit zu Zeit zu Versammlungen aufgeboten, um den Reden der Führer Beifall zu klatschen, vorgelegten Resolutionen einstimmig zuzustimmen, im Grunde also Cliquenwirtschaft - eine Diktatur allerdings, aber nicht die Diktatur des Proletariats, sondern die Diktatur einer Handvoll Politiker.»

Ja, so ungefähr ist es in Rußland gekommen.

Sebastian Haffner

Musicians practice constantly; most photographers do not practice enough. The siren-call of the hobby obscures the necessary exactions of art. It is easy to take a photograph, but it is harder to make a masterpiece in photography than in any other art medium.

Ansel Adams

How can I be the one they throw money at to come in and do the hard things?

In other words:

  • When you’re making a business decision, it’s generally good to pick the simplest, fastest, and cheapest option
  • When you’re making a career decision, it pays to be an expert in hard things

To be clear, I’m not saying that you should solve simple problems in complicated ways just to inflate your market value. That can have the opposite effect. Bad engineers do that. I’d say:

Gain the hard skills required to solve complex problems, but only deploy complex solutions when they’re actually needed.

Lane Wagner

Recently I heard about a streaker at Disneyland. Being a child at the Mansion was the direct inverse, but with the same result: You were ruining the magic.

Lorraine Nicholson

Sozialökonomisch und politisch ist das Barock die Synthese einer aus feudalen Welten stammenden Doppelmacht, des Fürstentums und der Kirche, mit den entwickelten Energien des Bürgertums. Ästhetisch ist das Barock dasselbe: eine Verschmelzung konservativer Religiosität mit den Formacquisitionen profaner Bürgerlichkeit. So entsteht die höfisch-katholische Elegik der barocken Formen.

Wilhelm Hausenstein

Allen anderen Künsten muß man etwas vorgeben; der griechischen allein bleibt man ewig Schuldner.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Given the option I prefer to learn from success.

Elon Musk

Most work (force*distance) used to be done by muscles, now it’s not. Most thinking used to be done by brains, soon it won’t be.

George Hotz

Genius is as rare among architects as it is among the rest of us. Most buildings will be the creation of talentless people who are simply doing their job like you and me. The less they try to be original and expressive the better. To pretend to these qualities in their absence is to jettison the three most important social virtues which are modesty, humility and the ability to act as though others are more important than yourself.

Roger Scruton

As experimental researchers, we try to design studies that prevent or handle confounds. We try to ensure that the groups we are comparing differ only in what we care about. To learn if coin flipping or die throwing leads to more lying, we randomly assign a given pool of participants to do one or the other, matching tasks on everything that matters (e.g., incentives, instructions, whether participants are nuns, etc). This is Research Methods 101. But somehow once the word “meta-analysis” is put in front of us, it’s like everything we learned (or even teach!) in Research Methods 101 temporarily exits our brain, replaced by the mantra that “meta-analysis is the gold standard”. We ignore the fact that coin-flip tasks and die-roll tasks may differ in all sorts of ways – not only in the psychology the tasks evoke in participants, but in whether those studies are run on economics students or nuns, in whether the incentive to lie is small or large, in how dishonesty is coded, etc. But we trust analyses that compare them as though they were on equal footing.

Joe Leif Uri

If you are talented and are working toward centralization of power, quit your job and figure out how to work toward decentralization.

George Hotz

When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure

Charles Goodhart

The source of Elon’s power. It comes from a new theory of management. (I’ll note that he didn’t say this, this is an external observation)

  • by continually creating chaos, process is incapable of forming, and everyone is forced to work only toward goal.

George Hotz

There’s only one way to get hired at the tiny corp, and that’s by submitting high quality pull requests to tinygrad. Job interviews are obsolete, prove you can do the job by doing the job!

George Hotz

I have developed a view in life to not second guess Elon Musk.

Marc Andreessen

I suffer from people's presence. Not from their absence.

Pablo Picasso

Make it work, make it right, make it fast.

Kent Beck

Of course the deposits of bankers are not a strictly accurate measure of the resources of a Money Market. On the contrary, much more cash exists out of banks in France and Germany, and in all non-banking countries, than could be found in England or Scotland, where banking is developed. But that cash is not, so to speak, 'money-market money:' it is not attainable. Nothing but their immense misfortunes, nothing but a vast loan in their own securities, could have extracted the hoards of France from the custody of the French people. The offer of no other securities would have tempted them, for they had confidence in no other securities. For all other purposes the money hoarded was useless and might as well not have been hoarded. But the English money is 'borrowable' money. Our people are bolder in dealing with their money than any continental nation, and even if they were not bolder, the mere fact that their money is deposited in a bank makes it far more obtainable. A million in the hands of a single banker is a great power; he can at once lend it where he will, and borrowers can come to him, because they know or believe that he has it. But the same sum scattered in tens and fifties through a whole nation is no power at all: no one knows where to find it or whom to ask for it. Concentration of money in banks, though not the sole cause, is the principal cause which has made the Money Market of England so exceedingly rich, so much beyond that of other countries.

The effect is seen constantly. We are asked to lend, and do lend, vast sums, which it would be impossible to obtain elsewhere. It is sometimes said that any foreign country can borrow in Lombard Street at a price: some countries can borrow much cheaper than others; but all, it is said, can have some money if they choose to pay enough for it. Perhaps this is an exaggeration; but confined, as of course it was meant to be, to civilised Governments, it is not much of an exaggeration. There are very few civilised Governments that could not borrow considerable sums of us if they choose, and most of them seem more and more likely to choose. If any nation wants even to make a railway--especially at all a poor nation--it is sure to come to this country--to the country of banks--for the money. It is true that English bankers are not themselves very great lenders to foreign states. But they are great lenders to those who lend. They advance on foreign stocks, as the phrase is, with 'a margin;' that is, they find eighty per cent of the money, and the nominal lender finds the rest. And it is in this way that vast works are achieved with English aid which but for that aid would never have been planned.

In domestic enterprises it is the same. We have entirely lost the idea that any undertaking likely to pay, and seen to be likely, can perish for want of money; yet no idea was more familiar to our ancestors, or is more common now in most countries. A citizen of London in Queen Elizabeth's time could not have imagined our state of mind. He would have thought that it was of no use inventing railways (if he could have understood what a railway meant), for you would not have been able to collect the capital with which to make them. At this moment, in colonies and all rude countries, there is no large sum of transferable money; there is no fund from which you can borrow, and out of which you can make immense works. Taking the world as a whole--either now or in the past--it is certain that in poor states there is no spare money for new and great undertakings, and that in most rich states the money is too scattered, and clings too close to the hands of the owners, to be often obtainable in large quantities for new purposes. A place like Lombard Street, where in all but the rarest times money can be always obtained upon good security or upon decent prospects of probable gain, is a luxury which no country has ever enjoyed with even comparable equality before.

Walter Bagehot

The fallacy here is that because it is impossible to solve everything, we shouldn't even attempt to solve some of it. By that same logic, it's always worthless to support any individual financially, because it does nothing to help every other individual who's struggling.


Recently there's been a lot of VC money sloshing around Silicon Valley and not enough programmers. This has made it possible for those programmers who are there to do well in cash and cachet just by being competent implementers. We can even get another rung or two higher by lightly exaggerating the impact of our work during performance reviews. This has allowed me to have a type of success without much brilliance.

Robert Heaton

I found myself thinking about high heels. High heels were painful, and, for me at least, expensive, because they made walking more difficult and I ended up taking more taxis. Yet there were many times when I wore heels to work-related events in New York, specifically because I felt it made people treat me with more consideration. Why, then, would I refuse to wear a head scarf, which brought a similar benefit of social acceptance, without the disadvantage of impeding my ability to stand or walk?

Elif Batuman

Whatever succeeds React isn't coming out of a war it's coming out of more of a renaissance.

Jason Lengstorf

The histories of faiths are all essentially the same: a vague and ambiguous millennial doctrine preached by a charismatic founder, Marx or Jesus; mystical variants held by the first generations of followers; and a militant consensus put firmly in place by the power-achieving generation. Bakunin, like the Essenes, never really had a chance. The truth is that punitive, hysterical religions thrive, while soft, mystical ones must hide their scriptures somewhere in the hot sand.

Adam Gopnik

He was a stupid man, he knew nothing at all of the world, and like all men who knew nothing of the world, he was suspicious and jealous.

Hudson Lowe

Amerika soll man kapieren, nicht kopieren.

Victor Gruen

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

After the war, the manuscript is published on Russell’s recommendation, although Russell is dubious about its contents. Meanwhile, Wittgenstein surprises everyone by forswearing philosophy (whose central problems he thinks he has now solved) and going off to rural Austria to teach schoolchildren; he clouts one student on the head so hard that the boy collapses to the ground. Under scrutiny for his disciplinary methods, and lately convinced that he hasn’t, in fact, solved all the problems of philosophy, he returns to Cambridge, slowly making his way to a new, and equally radical, philosophical outlook.

Nikhil Krishnan

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

Man braucht kein Marxist zu sein, um zu sehen, daß ein moderner Industriestaat nicht von einer Klasse geführt werden kann, deren wirtschaftliche Grundlage verschuldete Güter sind.

Sebastian Haffner

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

The peculiar stew of old school "keep Austin weird" iconoclasm, paired with one of the highest concentrations of info marketers and New Age lifestyle coaches in the country, Burners, anti-vaxx UFC podcaster bros, God, Guns and Guts Evangelicals, a slug of crytpo currency Silicon Valley libertarians and Don't Mess with Texas homesteading tax resisters...

Well, that right there, friends and neighbors, is what we call a spicy gumbo.

And here's the thing––this kind of metastasizing meme-pool is creating all sorts of mutations rarely seen in the wild.

The UFC bros have been going to Burning Man, the Burners have been studying up on tax resistance and guns. The Jesus people are tracking the Book of Revelations, but the New Age folks are happy to bolt those End Times tales onto their Kali Yuga and Hopi prophecies. The Libertarians are building blockchain economies and spaceships.

Everyone's buying ranches for apocalypse communities.

And pretty much all of 'em are convinced that vaccines are the Mark of the Beast and a slippery slope towards surveillance chips and a New World Order totalitarian state that's all Bill Gates' and George Soros' fault.

Jamie Wheal

Der labile Geschmack der Käufer ist für viele Unternehmen eine grosse Verlockung - es gibt wenig, was man leichter und gewinnbringender ausnutzen könnte als schlechten Geschmack. Die Gestaltung vieler Produkte ist unverkennbar bestimmt von der Spekulation auf die Schwächen der Käufer. Das mag erfolgreich sein und ist doch kein Erfolg. Es liegt nicht in unserem Interesse, in einer Gesellschaft zu leben und zu arbeiten, die ganz auf der zynischen Ausnutzung der Schwächen anderer aufgebaut ist.

Dieter Rams

From Brazil, learn to live in the present, and embrace every stranger as a friend. Leave before you forget about the future.

From Germany, learn rationality and directly honest communication. Leave before you start scolding strangers.

From Japan, learn deep consideration for others, social harmony, and intrinsic perfection. Leave before you get so considerate that you can’t express yourself or take action.

From China, learn pragmatism and the multi-generational mindset. Leave before you get superstitious or prioritize social status.

From France, learn idealism and resistance. Leave before you oppose everything in theory.

From America, learn expressive rebellious individualism. Leave before thinking you’re the center of the world.

From India, learn to improvise and thrive in complexity. Leave before feeling a divide between what’s inside versus outside your circle.

Derek Sivers

It could be that in Java's case I'm mistaken. It could be that a language promoted by one big company to undermine another, designed by a committee for a "mainstream" audience, hyped to the skies, and beloved of the DoD, happens nonetheless to be a clean, beautiful, powerful language that I would love programming in. It could be, but it seems very unlikely.

Paul Graham

The aphorism "you can't tell a book by its cover" originated in the times when books were sold in plain cardboard covers, to be bound by each purchaser according to his own taste. In those days, you couldn't tell a book by its cover. But publishing has advanced since then: present-day publishers work hard to make the cover something you can tell a book by.

I spend a lot of time in bookshops and I feel as if I have by now learned to understand everything publishers mean to tell me about a book, and perhaps a bit more.

Paul Graham

Perhaps, if your goal is to discover novel ideas, your motto should not be "do what you love" so much as "do what you're curious about."

Paul Graham

From Moses to Moses there was none like Moses


Your doctor took an oath to protect you, that guy on Instagram didn't.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

SPIEGEL: Herr Professor, immer wieder wird nun auch ein pädagogisches Argument ins Feld geführt. Es gilt, so heißt es, Musik im Fernsehen führe den Konsumenten erst einmal an die Werke heran und rege ihn damit zum Konzert- oder Opernbesuch an. Was halten Sie von dieser musischen Therapie?

ADORNO: Sie ist falsch. Ich glaube nicht, daß es überhaupt pädagogisch einen Weg zum Wesentlichen dadurch gibt, daß man die Menschen zunächst aufs Unwesentliche konzentriert. Gerade diese Aufmerksamkeit, die sich an das Unwesentliche heftet, verfestigt sich, wird habituell und setzt sich dadurch der Erfahrung des Wesentlichen entgegen. Ich glaube überhaupt nicht, daß es in der Kunst sich um allmähliche Gewöhnungsprozesse handeln kann, die dann vom Falschen allmählich zum Richtigen führen. In der künstlerischen Erfahrung gibt es qualitative Sprünge und nicht einen solchen trüben Prozeß.

Theodor W. Adorno

To romanticize going colossally over budget, some people have the gall to call themselves perfectionists. I’m one of those people. Regrettably, there’s no limit to the money I won’t spend—even money I don’t have—to make something perfect. And by perfect I mean imperfect and undesigned-looking.

Keith McNally

If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.

Lilla Watson

I was dating a transvestite. My mother said marry him, you’ll double your wardrobe.

Joan Rivers

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

lawyers are just really shitty overpaid interpreters.

George Hotz

There’s an old saying – variously attributed – to the effect that “capitalism without bankruptcy is like Catholicism without hell.” It appeals to me strongly. Markets work best when participants have a healthy fear of loss. It shouldn’t be the role of the Fed or the government to eradicate it. [...] I see no reason why financiers should be bailed out simply because the event they’re being harmed by was unpredictable.

Howard Marks

All professions are conspiracies against the laity. And we cant all be geniuses like you. Every fool can get ill; but every fool cant be a good doctor: there are not enough good ones to go round.

George Bernard Shaw

The great contrarian, Warren Buffett is famous for saying he likes hamburgers, and when hamburgers go on sale, he eats more hamburgers.

Howard Marks

These days everyone has the same data regarding the present and the same ignorance regarding the future.

Howard Marks

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

Im Grunde genommen ist es die Liebesgeschichte eines Intellektuellen mit einer Kleinbürgerin. Das muss ja mit dem Teufel zugegangen sein.

Bertolt Brecht

Ein Teil von jener Kraft, Die stets das Böse will und stets das Gute schafft.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Du siehst, mit diesem Trank im Leibe, Bald Helenen in jedem Weibe.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

People may ask me for my opinion because they think I’m intelligent, think I’ve been a successful investor, or know I’ve lived through a lot of history. But none of that should be confused with expertise on subjects of every kind.

Howard Marks

What a man wishes, that also will he believe.


As a Swiss, I am an inveterate democrat, yet I recognize that nature is aristocratic and, what is even more, esoteric. Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi is an unpleasant but an eternal truth. Who are forgiven their many sins? Those who have loved much. But as to those who love little, their few sins are held against them. I am firmly convinced that a vast number of people belong to the fold of the Catholic Church and nowhere else, because they are most suitably housed there.

I am as much persuaded of this as of the fact, which I have myself observed, that a primitive religion is better suited to primitive people than Christianity, which is so incomprehensible to them and so foreign to their blood that they can only ape it in a disgusting way. I believe, too, that there must be protestants against the Catholic Church, and also protestants against Protestantism for the manifestations of the spirit are truly wondrous, and as varied as Creation itself.

Carl Jung

Marie Kondo has been so influential on my psyche I thank our old code before I delete it.

Rach Smith

These are sad days in literature. Homer is dead. Shakespeare is dead. And I myself am not feeling at all well.

Mark Twain

Issue to issue you are getting influenced by the people who have a very strong interest.

Ben Horowitz

Insurance companies offer standardized policies which can be copied by anyone. Their only products are promises. It is not difficult to be licensed, and rates are an open book. There are no important advantages from trademarks, patents, location, corporate longevity, raw material sources, etc., and very little consumer differentiation to produce insulation from competition. It is commonplace, in corporate annual reports, to stress the difference that people make. Sometimes this is true and sometimes it isn’t. But there is no question that the nature of the insurance business magnifies the effect which individual managers have on company performance. We are very fortunate to have the group of managers that are associated with us.


A little digression illustrating this point may be interesting. Berkshire Fine Spinning Associates and Hathaway Manufacturing were merged in 1955 to form Berkshire Hathaway Inc. In 1948, on a pro forma combined basis, they had earnings after tax of almost $ 18 million and employed 10,000 people at a dozen large mills throughout New England. In the business world of that period they were an economic powerhouse. For example, in that same year earnings of IBM were $ 28 million (now $ 2.7 billion), Safeway Stores, $ 10 million, Minnesota Mining, $ 13 million, and Time, Inc., $ 9 million. But, in the decade following the 1955 merger aggregate sales of $ 595 million produced an aggregate loss for Berkshire Hathaway of $ 10 million. By 1964 the operation had been reduced to two mills and net worth had shrunk to $ 22 million, from $ 53 million at the time of the merger. So much for single year snapshots as adequate portrayals of a business.

Warren Buffett

Lucille Henderson sighed as heavily as her dress would allow.

J.D. Salinger

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

Cows are easy to love. Their eyes are a liquid brown, their noses inquisitive, their udders homely; small children thrill to their moo.

Most people like them even better dead.

Tad Friend

The sandwich is a national pastime of modest expectations, remorselessly fulfilled.

Sam Knight

Many people call themselves modern – especially the pseudo-moderns. Therefore the really modern man is often to be found among those who call themselves old-fashioned.

Carl Jung

The truth though is that throughout this time the genuine advances consistently come from doings things differently, not doing things bigger.

Jeremy Howard

We must always remember to thank the C.I.A. and the Army for LSD, by the way. That’s what people forget. Everything is the opposite of what it is.

John Lennon

But there was a lot of youth culture in the nineteen-sixties only because there was a lot of youth. The idea that youth culture is culture created by youth is a myth. Youth culture is manufactured by people who are no longer young. When you are actually a young person, you can only consume what’s out there. It often becomes “your culture,” but not because you made it. If you were born during the baby boom, you can call yourself a sixties person. You can even be a sixties person. Just don’t pretend that any of it was your idea.

Louis Menand

It is amateurs who have one big bright beautiful idea that they can never abandon. Professionals know that they have to produce theory after theory before they are likely to hit the jackpot.

Francis Crick

Cameron’s imagination was shaped by the Cold War; the threat of nuclear annihilation is a recurring theme. But he also admires the military and its accessories. “I suppose you could say I believe in peace through superior firepower,” he told me. “I don’t believe that the human race is going to suddenly evolve to the point that we can all join hands and sing ‘Kumbaya.’ ” He learned to shoot—shotguns, assault rifles, pistols—in the early eighties, when he was writing “The Terminator.” “I didn’t want to write like an idiot, based on some kind of comic-book knowledge,” he said. “I do a lot of things in the pursuit of creating a patina of reality in what is basically fantasy.” He has continued his education, training with a handgun expert on a course with pop-up targets, and spending a lot of time in the desert with his friends, shooting up watermelons and jalopies with an AK-47.


“We have a big fire problem here,” he said. He mentioned that he has his own pump house. “We take the pool water, mix it with Class A foam, and pump it out over the whole property. Everybody else just runs for the hills.” He threw his hands up and did a squeaky voice. “ ‘<i>Oh, my God!</i>’ We sit and wait. Put on our yellow coats and our breathing gear and wait. And, you know what? It’s impressive. When these hills light up with a hundred-foot-tall wall of flames coming over the top of the hill there, you feel like it’s Armageddon.”

Dana Goodyear

Creativity isn’t about breaking the rules for being different from others, it’s about solving a complex problem in a simple and intuitive way, not in a way that would confuse people.


Zu sogenannten ›Burschenschaften‹ gruppiert, zerschmissenen Gesichts, versoffen und brutal, beherrschten sie die Aula, weil sie nicht wie die andern bloß Bänder und Mützen trugen, sondern mit harten, schweren Stöcken bewehrt waren; unablässig provozierend, hieben sie bald auf die slawischen, bald auf die jüdischen, die katholischen, die italienischen Studenten ein und trieben die Wehrlosen aus der Universität. Bei jedem ›Bummel‹ (so hieß jener Samstag der Studentenparade) floß Blut. Die Polizei, die dank dem alten Privileg der Universität die Aula nicht betreten durfte, mußte von außen tatenlos zusehen, wie diese feigen Radaubrüder wüteten, und durfte sich ausschließlich darauf beschränken, die Verletzten, die blutend von den nationalen Rowdies die Treppe hinab auf die Straße geschleudert wurden, fortzutragen.

Stefan Zweig

Don’t give your customers what they ask for; give them what they want.

Tom Preston-Werner

I’m not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist. I’m simply saying the racists believe he’s a racist.

Andrew Gillum

Wir sind nur dort Kollektivisten, wo es die ungeheueren Schwierigkeiten der Aufgabe erfordern. Im übrigen wollen wir das Individuum mit seinen Rechten hegen und pflegen.

Theodor Herzl

The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.

Mark Twain

Our only advantage was lack of precedent.

Henry Ford

To be "normal" is a splendid ideal for the unsuccessful, for all those who have not yet found an adaptation. But for people who have far more ability than the average, for whom it was never hard to gain successes and to accomplish their share of the world's work - for them restriction to the normal signifies the bed of Procrustes, unbearable boredom, infernal sterility and hopelessness.

As a consequence there are many people who become neurotic because they are only normal, as there are people who are neurotic because they cannot become normal. For the former the very thought that you want to educate them to normality is a nightmare; their deepest need is really to be able to lead "abnormal" lives.

Carl Jung

In 2016, a European gas-station chain hired HappyOrNot, a small Finnish startup, to measure customer satisfaction at its hundred and fifty-plus outlets. One gas station rapidly emerged as the leader, and another as the distant laggard. But customer satisfaction can be influenced by factors unrelated to customer service, so, to check, the chain’s executives swapped the managers at the best and worst performers. Within a short time, the store at the top of the original list was at the bottom, the store at the bottom was at the top, and one of the managers was looking for work.

David Owen

I am the Jesus Christ of politics. I am a patient victim, I put up with everyone, I sacrifice myself for everyone.

Silvio Berlusconi

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

With their digital IDs, Estonians can use their smart phones to get just about anything done online – from their children’s grades to their health records. I should have called the Estonians when we were setting up our health care website.

Barack Obama

The government is going to seem massively broken to young people.

Ben Horowitz

In a way (in e-Estonia) the government and the public sector is serving you and you are on the driver's seat. Or more so than in other societies. The citizen is a subject and not an object of government. That change of philosophy, I think that you are the only country where this is being implemented.

Mikko Kosonen

Back in the 1950s, when neither governments nor pharmaceutical companies would finance research into the birth-control pill — contraception was far too controversial — an unlikely benefactor came forward: Katharine McCormick, an MIT-educated feminist and the heiress to the International Harvester fortune, who was then in her mid-70s, almost single-handedly provided the funding needed to develop the first oral contraceptive.

Marc Gunther

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

In the end, the most interesting thing about a conscience is how it answers, not whom it answers to.

Casey Cep

The only way that you really have access to almost anything that exists in life is through movies.

Cary Joji Fukunaga

“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

During that era (when we were drive farming) I drove down to Los Angeles for Thanksgiving with my wife's family. As we head back, I see a "Costco" from the freeway and swerve to catch the exit and head in for the "limit two hard drives per customer deal". Costco was one of the retail outfits we were farming as hard as we could.

Ok, so first time through the checkout line with two drives, I'm totally cool because it's normal, right? I show my receipt to the dude at the exit door, and walk out into the parking lot and I drop the two drives off in the car with the wife, and say "Darling, just hang out here, I'm going to try again" and head back in for two more drives at the "limit two per customer" price. (My wife helped with drive farming to keep Backblaze alive, she knew the drill.)

The second time through the checkout line, I choose the cashier as far away from the first cashier as possible, but then I see the dude at the exit door. He let's me through and I just assume he doesn't recognize me.

About the fourth time through, it is starting to get uncomfortable. :-) The cashier I have now used a couple times says "is this a good deal or something?" and I respond "great deal, I'm stocking up". The dude at the exit door now knows me well and says "Hey, you are back!" So I just straight up ask him, "When are you going to stop me from looping through here?" The dude doesn't miss a beat and says, "as long as your credit card clears, you are golden to walk back and forth to your car as many times as you like".

The next time through, I ask the dude at the exit door, "have you ever seen this before?" and again, he doesn't miss a beat and says "it happens with certain deals Costco offers, the store says let you be you." I buy out MOST of Costco's entire forklift pallet of "limit two per customer" hard drives over about an hour and a half. About the time my personal credit card was rejected my Nissan Sentra was bursting at the seams with drives and my wife was looking at me impatiently. We drove north back to the San Francisco area with $9,000 worth of hard drives in the trunk and back seat of the Sentra.

Brian Wilson

In these moments, in the entirety of her public life, Angelyne is not a human being trying to carry on a conversation. She's the woman from the billboard. "Were you on the news yesterday?" a woman asks. "I hadn't heard of you before yesterday. Can I get a picture?" "It'll be a $20 donation," Angelyne informs her. The woman declines.

Many balk at the $20 asking price, a price she charges because, as a woman who claims she refuses to "sell out" to corporate interests, her interpersonal relations are her revenue stream. She may have been a forerunner to celebrities like the Kardashians, but she'll never affix her name to diet pills or use the hashtag #BrandedContent. The trunk of her signature pink Corvette is filled with her own self-produced merchandise. In this regard, as in so many others, she is, indeed, a person out of time.

Megan Koester

Bill Gates: Smart people like Steve ought to try to build things from scratch. That's a worthy thing. But every time it should be a test. Right now there's a test in handwriting PCs, in object-oriented operating systems, in multimedia computers. Those are the big questions for personal computing in the 1990s, and I'm the one who has to prove the validity of the evolutionary approach.

Steve Jobs: It's true, your evolutionary approach with Windows is bringing to PCs great new technologies that Apple and others pioneered. But in the meantime -- and it's been seven years since the Macintosh was introduced -- I still think that tens of millions of PC owners needlessly use a computer that is far less good than it should be.

Bill Gates

Jedes Gedicht ist gewissermaßen ein Kuß, den man der Welt gibt. Aber aus bloßen Küssen werden keine Kinder.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

If all mankind could look through that telescope, it would change the world!

Griffith J. Griffith

People don't have time to wait for someone to paint their portrait anymore.

Robert Mapplethorpe

<p>LEARNING TO DO NOTHING (Idleness as a BS detector/cleaner) – At the start of this year I resolved to do “nothing except if it felt like a hobby” i.e., “satisfy interests while providing entertainment value with zero pressure, no schedule and no feeling of duty”.</p><p>The rule is to wake up with the aim to “do nothing”, have nothing scheduled and avoid the usual guilt (or shame) encountered by most when “wasting time”, have minimum committments and talk to NO journalist. Of course, cut everything unpleasant, no matter what the potential gain. Treat everything (including mathematics) the way a great-uncle of mine who was a man of leisure treated his afternoon game of bridge: intellectual concentration as entertainment.</p><p>RESULT: 12 academic papers (9 accepted so far), finished a book (Silent Risk)–well, almost, wrote 100 aphorisms, ate 2 Beijing ducks, learned to typeset books as a self-standing publisher, found 4 investments … and this is 3/4 of the year.</p><p> NOTE: To do things make sure you have no assistant. They drag you into doing things for the sake of “work”.</p>

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The secret to doing good research is always to be a little underemployed. You waste years by not being able to waste hours.

Amos Tversky

More and more of our imports come from overseas.

George W. Bush

A country never seems as poor as when filled with riches.

If you want it done, go. If not, send.

Benjamin Franklin

I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice.

Martin Luther King Jr.

And it is a matter of no little embarrassment to the art establishmentthat exhibitions of the work of high school students are often as goodas the work of professional artists—quite often better. The enthusiasm of youth is frequently more palatable than the glib posturings of middle age—particularly when the latter is accompanied by the usual patina of garbled, half-digested, philosophy.


The same curve of decline can be found in photography. Whereas once we had Kertesz, Robert Frank, Bill Brandt—not to mention Cartier-Bresson—now the closest thing we have to an Art-Photographer-for-our-time is, or was, Robert Mapplethorpe. And when you take away the sensationalism in Mapplethorpe what you are left with is a photographer who had an extremely limited technique and an even more limited style. That style consisted in lighting everything to make it look dead and stuffed. Mapplethorpe even manages to make flowers look stuffed.


If one considers all of these bleak scenarios together what you have is this: Art is effectively dead. In our culture there is almost nothing being produced that is capable of galvanising an intelligent population to take interest, or when there is, it palls alongside the far superior work of the recent past—making one suspect that the intelligence of the intelligent public is being considerably over-rated.


We have such continual access to the art of the past that we don’t care that what is being produced today is largely just vulgar schlock—poorly made, ineptly conceived, driven more by a theory of what art should be, than any powerful vision of what it must be if it is to add to our lives, rather than take away.


To begin to undo the damage that has been done it is necessary for us to completely re-examine the two imperatives that brought us here: the need to progress and the need to de-represent. The former is a simple absurdity (who could seriously maintain that drama has progressed ever upward from Shakespeare to George Bernard Shaw?), defended only by an avant-garde in desperate need of self justification. (And an avant-garde that is, we might note, the very group that is so crankily suspicious of the idea of progress whenever it is deployed elsewhere.) The latter is a bundle of philosophical mistakes and conflations that most philosophers working today would treat with the utmost scepticism. If we are to save our art—and it is, I believe, still possible for it to be saved—then we must re-invent the Avant Garde with a new sense of what we find deep and powerful. We should cease to listen to post-modernists as they attempt to rationalise the inept, fatigued, detritus of the contemporary art scene. We should listen once again for those arts that have found their way home, to some sense of the sublime. In doing this we might save ourselves as much as our culture.

Adrian Heathcote

Psychology is a science, and teaching is an art; and sciences never generate arts directly out of themselves. An intermediary inventive mind must make the application, by using its originality.

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The science of logic never made a man reason rightly, and the science of ethics (if there be such a thing) never made a man behave rightly. The most such sciences can do is to help us to catch ourselves up and check ourselves, if we start to reason or to behave wrongly; and to criticise ourselves more articulately after we have made mistakes.

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William James

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

Day-Lewis is well known for the immersive preparation that he undergoes for his roles—he made a couture dress for his wife, Rebecca Miller, before playing Woodcock—and also for his interest in crafts, including shoemaking, which he once spent about a year studying in Italy. He will now have more time to pursue such interests in retirement, if he wishes.

Glasgow is not certain whether he will take up the baton that Day-Lewis has put down, though he would certainly like to act again. “My business is a bit like theatre,” he said. “You adapt yourself to the client. If it’s the Duke of Bedford, you say, ‘Yes, m’lud, how are you, m’lud.’ I was brought up in that era where you are very subservient. But, with the wealth today, there are lots of people who have loads of money and they are, like, ‘ ’Allo, mate, ’ow’s it goin’?’ And they are prepared to order a lot of shoes.”

Rebecca Mead

Sicher ist jedenfalls, dass schon in den ältesten deutschen Dichtungen, in den Epen des 9. Jahrhunderts, auf »Herz« »Schmerz« gereimt wurde und dass diesen Schmerzen nicht die Ärzte ihre Einkünfte verdankten, sondern die Literaten.

Marcel Reich-Ranicki

I don’t make pictures just to make money. I make money to make more pictures.

Walt Disney

Barton had started out at Microsoft, where, in the mid-nineties, while running the travel-business unit, he came up with the idea of selling airline tickets through the Internet. Back then, this, too, ran counter to social norms. Responsible people did not give their credit-card information to a computer; if you wanted to buy a plane ticket, you talked to your local travel agent, who gave you crumbs of information. “You had to literally ask what the prices and schedules were,” Barton recalled recently.

In 1996, he persuaded Bill Gates to spin off Microsoft’s travel unit as its own company, Expedia, which, with other sites, changed the travel landscape. Customers discovered that they could not only buy plane tickets online but also tap into huge caches of information in order to get the best deals. Airlines, now that they no longer had to pay commissions to travel agents, could lower their ticket prices; travel agents could enroll in culinary school, or take up woodworking.

Lizzie Widdicombe

Not Dead, Can’t Quit.

Richard Machowicz

If you get to thinking you're a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else's dog around.

Will Rogers

A blank he lived and a blank he died; He never remembered to pull the slide!

Beaumont Newhall

It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong.


Well, luckily I had the idea at a very early age that the safest way to try to get what you want is to try to deserve what you want.

Charlie Munger

There is a chivalric aspect to Cameron’s antagonism; he figures his struggles in heroic terms. “I try to live with honor, even if it costs me millions of dollars and takes a long time,” he says. “It’s very unusual in Hollywood. Few people are trustworthy—a handshake means nothing to them. They feel they’re required to keep an agreement with you only if you’re successful, or they need you. I’ve tried not to get sucked into the Hollywood hierarchy system. Personally, I don’t like it when people are deferential to me because I’m an established filmmaker. It’s a blue-collar sensibility.”

Dana Goodyear

British people, I've observed, are quite proud that they are not especially skilled at bureaucracy; Americans, in contrast, seem embarrassed by the fact that on the whole, they are really quite good at it.

David Graeber

“The central problem of democracy for nine thousand years has been controlling the passions,” he said.

Benjamin Wallace-Wells

One thing I love about customers is that they are divinely discontent. Their expectations are never static – they go up. It’s human nature. We didn’t ascend from our hunter-gatherer days by being satisfied. People have a voracious appetite for a better way, and yesterday’s ‘wow’ quickly becomes today’s ‘ordinary’. I see that cycle of improvement happening at a faster rate than ever before. It may be because customers have such easy access to more information than ever before – in only a few seconds and with a couple taps on their phones, customers can read reviews, compare prices from multiple retailers, see whether something’s in stock, find out how fast it will ship or be available for pick-up, and more. These examples are from retail, but I sense that the same customer empowerment phenomenon is happening broadly across everything we do at Amazon and most other industries as well. You cannot rest on your laurels in this world. Customers won’t have it.

Jeff Bezos

Überreden konnte Lessing seine Leser immer. Ob er sie auch überzeugen konnte, sei dahingestellt.

Marcel Reich-Ranicki

From Terraciano et al. I inferred that the similarities are mostly within professions, not so much within nationalities: a prostitute from Dallas is going to be far more similar (in her behavior) to a prostitute from Cannes than to an accountant from Dallas; a philosopher from New York will be more similar to a philosopher from Bombay than to a New York trader, etc.

I was clearly the victim of the nationality fallacy in the New Yorker profile (Gladwell) that attributed my ideas (and trading style) to my Lebanese background & the war – given that it was so salient. I then searched & found 30 Christian Lebanese traders of my generation – all (I mean all) of them sell tail options (i.e. bet against the Black Swan). On the other hand my associate Mark Spitznagel is from the MidWest.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.

Anaïs Nin

De toutes les aberrations sexuelles, la plus singulière est peut-être encore la chasteté.

Remy de Gourmont

Your present management assumed responsibility at Berkshire Hathaway in May, 1965. At the end of the prior fiscal year (September, 1964) the net worth of the Company was $22.1 million, and 1,137,778 common shares were outstanding, with a resulting book value of $19.46 per share. Ten years earlier, Berkshire Hathaway’s net worth had been $53.4 million. Dividends and stock repurchases accounted for over $21 million of the decline in company net worth, but aggregate net losses of $9.8 million had been incurred on sales of $595 million during the decade.

Warren Buffett

Young professionals of the nineteen-sixties had three-Martini lunches; today’s have after-work panel discussions sponsored by liquor companies.

Sheila Marikar

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

My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs) … the most improper job of any man, even saints (who at any rate were at least unwilling to take it on), is bossing other men.

J. R. R. Tolkien

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

Upton Sinclair

Mein Vater, mein Großvater, was haben sie gesehen? Sie lebten jeder ihr Leben in der Einform. Ein einziges Leben vom Anfang bis zum Ende, ohne Aufstiege, ohne Stürze, ohne Erschütterung und Gefahr, ein Leben mit kleinen Spannungen, unmerklichen Übergängen; in gleichem Rhythmus, gemächlich und still, trug sie die Welle der Zeit von der Wiege bis zum Grabe. Sie lebten im selben Land, in derselben Stadt und fast immer sogar im selben Haus; was außen in der Welt geschah, ereignete sich eigentlich nur in der Zeitung und pochte nicht an ihre Zimmertür. Irgendein Krieg geschah wohl irgendwo in ihren Tagen, aber doch nur ein Kriegchen, gemessen an den Dimensionen von heute, und er spielte sich weit an der Grenze ab, man hörte nicht die Kanonen, und nach einem halben Jahre war er erloschen, vergessen, ein dürres Blatt Geschichte, und es begann wieder das alte, dasselbe Leben.

Stefan Zweig

The question that I first asked was, why was progress [...] speeding up over time? It arises because of this special characteristic of an idea, which is if [a million people try] to discover something, if any one person finds it, everybody can use the idea.

Paul Romer

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

To the Chamber of Deputies: We are subjected to the intolerable competition of a foreign rival, who enjoys such superior facilities for the production of light that he can inundate our national market at reduced price. This rival is no other than the sun. Our petition is to pass a law shutting up all windows, openings and fissures through which the light of the sun is used to penetrate our dwellings, to the prejudice of the profitable manufacture we have been enabled to bestow on the country.

Signed: Candle Makers.

Frédéric Bastiat

And Spaniards and Dutchmen, and Frenchmen and such men, As foemen did curse them, the bowmen of England! No other land could nurse them But their motherland, Old England! And on her broad bosom did they ever thrive!

What’s all this business about being a writer? It’s just putting one word after another.

Irving Thalberg

Das Klientelsystem der Mafia ist ja im Grunde genommen eigentlich das natürliche System einer Gesellschaft, in dem die Partikularinteres­sen das Prinzip Solidargemeinschaft übertrumpfen. Die Institution Staat mit einer demokratischen Verfassung hingegen ist der einzige Garant dafür, sozialen Ausgleich und Rechtssicherheit für jedes Indi­viduum unabhängig von dessen Zugehörigkeit zu einer bestimmten Gruppe zu sichern. Je mehr dieser demokratisch legitimierte Staat mit seinen Schutzfunktionen von mächtigen Partikularinteressen zurück­ gedrängt wird und staatliche Institutionen privatisiert und/oder durch finanzielle und personelle Ressourcenverknappung eingeschränkt werden, umso geringer ist die Schutzfunktion für das Individuum. Da­durch bietet der Staat eine offene Flanke für die Infiltration durch die Mafia oder jene politischen Systeme (faschistische wie autoritäre), die denen der Mafia sehr ähnlich sind. In dem Moment, in dem das Ver­trauen der Bürger in staatliche Institutionen zusammenbricht, hört die zivile Bürgergesellschaft auf zu leben. Was bleibt, sind Kampfgemein­schaften um die Ressourcenverteilung - wie bei der Mafia.

Jürgen Roth

Risk is overrated. Ruin is underrated.

Ravi Jain

For Sloterdijk, Trump’s true significance lies in the way that he instinctively subverts the norms of modern governance. “He’s an innovator when it comes to fear,” Sloterdijk told me. “Instead of waiting for the crisis to impose his decree, his decrees get him the emergencies he needs. The playground for madness is vast.”

Thomas Meaney

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...


If you had a manager that talked to you the way you talked to you, you’d quit. If you had a boss that wasted as much of your time as you do, they’d fire her. If an organization developed its employees as poorly as you are developing yourself, it would soon go under.

Seth Godin

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

MARTHA RODGERS: Oh, young love. First banana splits, then splitting assets.

Andrew W. Marlowe

There were numerous photographs and paintings by Cuban artists: a framed photograph of Fidel Castro shortly after the Cuban Revolution; a picture of a majestic building in Havana that had once housed a wealthy family, now in terminal decay. “I’m obsessed with Fidel,” Bush mused. “All he did was harvest what was already there, until everyone was starving to death.”

He pointed to a sculptural piece by the Cuban artist Juan Roberto Diago, who had fastened together slabs from old automobiles, representing the way that people in his native country were forced to continually repurpose things in the absence of actual creation. It was, Bush said, just a “joining of scars. There’s nothing being built fresh. Things are just being reshuffled.”

Sheelah Kolhatkar

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Arthur C. Clarke

Before Ben‑Yehuda, Jews could speak Hebrew; after him, they did.

Cecil Roth

Ben-Yehuda is unconsciously portraying himself as Robinson Crusoe. But there are also biblical echoes in the passage: Palestine is presented as a Garden of Eden, Dvora is Eve, and Hebrew is a mechanism transforming religious values into linguistic redemption.

Ilan Stavans

Werden wir also am Ende eine Theokratie haben? Nein! Der Glaube hält uns zusammen, die Wissenschaft macht uns frei. Wir werden daher theokratische Velleitäten unserer Geistlichen gar nicht aufkommen lassen. Wir werden sie in ihren Tempeln festzuhalten wissen, wie wir unser Berufsheer in den Kasernen festhalten werden. Heer und Klerus sollen so hoch geehrt werden, wie es ihre schönen Funktionen erfordern und verdienen.

Theodor Herzl

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

People don’t change their minds. They die, and are replaced by people with different opinions.

Arturo Albergati

When something is just bad (rather than Camp), it’s often because it is too mediocre in its ambition. The artist hasn’t attempted to do anything really outlandish. (“It’s too much,” “It’s too fantastic,” “It’s not to be believed,” are standard phrases of Camp enthusiasm.)

Susan Sontag

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 Trump Presidency is an animate example of what happens when the term “for argument’s sake” becomes an actual political ideology. Trump’s élitist contrarianism has been able to masquerade as conservatism, in part, because it exists explicitly in opposition to everything that the liberal Barack Obama stood for. Trump is not a Republican; he’s whatever is the opposite of a black Democrat who became President.


But you cannot turn to Donald Trump to understand Chicago, because you would then be trading presumptions instead of ideas, and putting empty placeholders where reflection and analysis belong—a known formula for idiocy.

Jelani Cobb

Zahllose Male habe ich im praktischen Leben bestätigt gefunden, daß Antiquare oft besser Bescheid wissen über Bücher als die zuständigen Professoren, Kunsthändler mehr verstehen als die Kunstgelehrten, daß ein Großteil der wesentlichen Anregungen und Entdeckungen auf allen Gebieten von Außenseitern stammt. So praktisch, handlich und heilsam der akademische Betrieb für die Durchschnittsbegabung sein mag, so entbehrlich scheint er mir für individuell produktive Naturen, bei denen er sich sogar im Sinn einer Hemmung auszuwirken vermag.

Stefan Zweig

Other women cloy The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry Where most she satisfies.

William Shakespeare

I don’t get into trouble. I’m a comedian. Fred West gets into trouble. There’s pedophiles with careers. What have I ever done?

Ricky Gervais

A German court has agreed to end the bribery trial of Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone in exchange for a $100m (£60m) payment from him.

Jupiter’s composition is hydrogen and helium, just like the sun, but unlike the sun, Jupiter doesn’t have enough mass to ignite fusion, only enough to forever remind everyone of its failed attempt at stardom.

Tim Urban

If the president does it, it can’t be illegal.

Richard Nixon

Over time, draft boards came to resemble freshman philosophy seminars in their attempts to decide who did and did not qualify for C.O. status. A Jewish socialist who ran an engraving business did not, but a pulp artist and atheist who appealed to the idea of secular humanism did; some members of the Ethical Culture Society qualified, but not others; Jehovah’s Witnesses initially did not, on the theory that someone willing to fight the Devil during Armageddon ought to be willing to fight America’s enemies during a war; a writer turned financial consultant who belonged to no church but had read “philosophers, historians, and poets from Plato to Shaw” was granted C.O. status after two contradictory close readings of his antiwar play.

Casey Cep

Trust in Allah, but tie your camel.

We need banking, but we don’t need banks anymore.

Bill Gates

Innovate only as a last resort.

Charles Eames

Hitler, because in his own joyless mind he feels it with exceptional strength, knows that human beings don’t only want comfort, safety, short working-hours, hygiene, birth-control and, in general, common sense; they also, at least intermittently, want struggle and self-sacrifice, not to mention drums, flags and loyalty-parades. However they may be as economic theories, Fascism and Nazism are psychologically far sounder than any hedonistic conception of life. The same is probably true of Stalin’s militarised version of Socialism. All three of the great dictators have enhanced their power by imposing intolerable burdens on their peoples. Whereas Socialism, and even capitalism in a more grudging way, have said to people “I offer you a good time,’’ Hitler has said to them “I offer you struggle, danger and death,” and as a result a whole nation flings itself at his feet.

George Orwell

Heuristic: in any profession, 90% of the people are clueless but work by situational imitation, narrow mimicry, and semi-conscious role-playing, except for academia where it is 99% and journalism where it is about 100%.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Given that Tesla has never made an annual profit in the almost 15 years since we have existed, profit is obviously not what motivates us. What drives us is our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable, clean energy, but we will never achieve that mission unless we eventually demonstrate that we can be sustainably profitable. That is a valid and fair criticism of Tesla’s history to date.

Elon Musk

Monopolists can afford to think about things other than making money. Non-monopolists can’t.

Peter Thiel

SPIEGEL: Herr Professor, vor zwei Wochen schien die Welt noch in Ordnung...

ADORNO: Mir nicht.

Theodor W. Adorno

Art is seduction, not rape.

Susan Sontag

The struggle itself is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

Albert Camus

I try to imagine someone saying to Shakespeare, ‘Relax!’

Elias Canetti

The rest of Germany thinks of Karlsruhe, when it thinks of it at all, as a placid city where the Supreme Court is situated. Nestled in the far southwest, where Germany begins to blend into France, Karlsruhe was one of the first planned cities of Europe and an oasis of the Enlightenment. When Thomas Jefferson passed through, in 1788, he sent a sketch of the street plan back home, as a possible template for the layout of Washington, D.C.

Thomas Meaney

Employers are like horses — they require management.

Reginald Jeeves

If god exists then why did he make ugly people?

Derek Zoolander

Of the old elites in France prior to the Revolution, Alexis de Tocqueville said that they mistook privilege for liberty, that is, they sought protection from state power that applied to them alone and not generally to all citizens. In the contemporary United States, elites speak the language of liberty but are perfectly happy to settle for privilege.

Francis Fukuyama

When Karl Lueger, founder in 1893 of the antisemitic Christian Social Party of Austria, was taken to task by a colleague for including Jews among his personal friends, he famously replied: “I decide who is a Jew.“ A quote repeated by Hermann Göring when taunted that his co-founder of the Luftwaffe, Erhard Milch, was the son of a Jewish pharmacist.

Paul Kriwaczek

Just as one’s dreams converge on the same situations (the pop quiz, the dentist’s office), so “Star Wars” seems to take place in a dream world in which old friends are perpetually reuniting and nobody can find his or her parents. For some fans, all this repetition makes a new “Star Wars” film an anxious experience. In a discussion about the “The Last Jedi” on the sci-fi Web site io9, viewers report “tensing up” when they hear musical cues evoking prior films and getting “flashes of the prequels” during the new movie’s lighter moments. They know the old movies so well that the new one is perceived not in itself but as a series of departures from a cherished template.


Perhaps the “Star Wars” franchise has fallen victim to an interpretive mistake. For many years, in trying to explain the appeal of the original films, fans and critics cited their mythic qualities; they read Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” and praised the movies’ supposedly “universal” dramatic shape. In fact, they had it backward. The magic of “Star Wars” was never the formula. It was novelty.

Joshua Rothman

If women really get paid 20% less for the same work, wouldn’t a shareholder conscious company just hire only women?

Goldman Sachs Elevator

Denn schon viel früher hatten die Herausgeber evangelischer Gesangsbücher keine Bedenken – Klabund machte sich hierüber lustig –, Flemings Lyrik für ihre Zwecke zu adaptieren: Sie strichen aus manchen seiner Lieder den Namen des von ihm angebeteten Mädchens Elsabe und setzten einen anderen ein, nämlich Jesus.

Marcel Reich-Ranicki

In the electronic age, I am sure that scanning techniques will be able to achieve prints of extraordinary subtlety from the original negative scores. If I could return in 20 years or so I would hope to see astounding interpretations of my most expressive images. It is true no one could print my negatives as I did, but they might well get more out of them by electronic means. Image quality is not the product of a machine, but of the person who directs the machine, and there are no limits to imagination and expression.

Ansel Adams

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

In 2010, Trump again found himself in trouble in Atlantic City. But this time Icahn was his antagonist. Along with a Texas banker, Icahn was trying to gain control of three Trump casinos. When a lawyer asked, during a deposition, whether Icahn intended to rebrand the casinos, he said that a consultant had deemed the Trump name a “disadvantage.” In an interview, Trump shot back, “Everybody wants the brand, including Carl. It’s the hottest brand in the country.” But in Icahn’s opinion the only real downside to shedding the Trump name was the expense that would be associated with changing all the signage.

Patrick Radden Keefe

It’s been my experience in life, if you just keep thinking and reading, you don’t have to work.

Charlie Munger

Life is a tighrope between two errors: generalizing the wrong particular and particularizing the wrong general.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Selfie sticks have destroyed one of the easiest ways to meet Asian chicks.

Goldman Sachs Elevator

Noch vor einigen vierzig Jahren wurde die Goldgräberei auf eine wunderlich einfältige Weise betrieben. Wie abenteuerlich ist es in Kalifornien zugegangen! Da liefen auf ein Gerücht hin die Desperados aus aller Welt zusammen, stahlen der Erde, raubten einander das Gold ab – und verspielten es dann ebenso räubermäßig. Heute! Man sehe sich heute die Goldgräberei in Transvaal an. Keine romantischen Strolche mehr, sondern nüchterne Geologen und Ingenieure leiten die Goldindustrie. Sinnreiche Maschinen lösen das Gold aus dem erkannten Gestein. Dem Zufall ist wenig überlassen. So muß das neue Judenland mit allen modernen Hilfsmitteln erforscht und in Besitz genommen werden.

Theodor Herzl

Other automakers have responded to the rising tide of mandates with vehicles developed solely to meet requirements and avoid fines (shades of the EV1). The resulting cars are less than compelling and a pain for automakers. In May 2014, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne actually asked people not to buy the all-electric version of the Fiat 500, saying, “Every time I sell one, it costs me $14,000.”

Alex Davies

In September 2006, Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone stunned the entertainment industry when he fired Freston from the position of CEO. One of the chief reasons for the move was that Freston hadn’t moved decisively enough to buy MySpace, which was then the most popular social networking site; instead Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation purchased the site for $580 million. Redstone believed that the failure to acquire MySpace contributed to the 20% drop in Viacom’s stock price in 2006 up to the date of Freston’s ouster. Freston’s successor as CEO, Philippe Dauman, was quoted as saying “never, ever let another competitor beat us to the trophy”. Redstone told interviewer Charlie Rose that losing MySpace had been “humiliating,” adding, “MySpace was sitting there for the taking for $500 million.” Murdoch’s company ended up selling Myspace, which had largely declined along with the rise of rival social networking website Facebook, in 2012; News Corp’s sale price at the time was $35 million.

Tom Freston

The most celebrated and influential modern doctrines, those of Marx and Freud, actually amount to elaborate systems of hermeneutics, aggressive and impious theories of interpretation. All observable phenomena are bracketed, in Freud’s phrase, as manifest content. This manifest content must be probed and pushed aside to find the true meaning— the latent content— beneath. For Marx, social events like revolutions and wars; for Freud, the events of individual lives (like neurotic symptoms and slips of the tongue) as well as texts (like a dream or a work of art)— all are treated as occasions for interpretation.

Susan Sontag

I care what 51 percent of the people think about me.

George W. Bush

Berkshire, by design, had methodological advantages to supplement its better opportunities. It never had the equivalent of a ‘department of acquisitions’ under pressure to buy. And it never relied on advice from ‘helpers’ sure to be prejudiced in favor of transactions. And Buffett held self-delusion at bay as he underclaimed expertise while he knew better than most corporate executives what worked and what didn’t in business, aided by his long experience as a passive investor. And, finally, even when Berkshire was getting much better opportunities than most others, Buffett often displayed almost inhuman patience and seldom bought. For instance, during his first ten years in control of Berkshire, Buffett saw one business (textiles) move close to death and two new businesses come in, for a net gain of one.

Charlie Munger

Ich bin gegenüber allen sportlichen Geschwindigkeits- oder Geschicklichkeitsrekorden unentwegt auf dem Standpunkt des Schahs von Persien stehengeblieben, der, als man ihn animieren wollte, einem Derby beizuwohnen, orientalisch weise äußerte: »Wozu? Ich weiß doch, daß ein Pferd schneller laufen kann als das andere. Welches, ist mir gleichgültig.«

Stefan Zweig

Some people will say that words like scum and rotten are wrong for Objective Journalism – which is true, but they miss the point. It was the built-in blind spots of the Objective rules and dogma that allowed Nixon to slither into the White House in the first place. He looked so good on paper that you could almost vote for him sight unseen. He seemed so all-American, so much like Horatio Alger, that he was able to slip through the cracks of Objective Journalism. You had to get Subjective to see Nixon clearly, and the shock of recognition was often painful.

Hunter S. Thompson

When you see a man casting pearls without getting even a pork chop in return—it is not against the swine that you feel indignation. It is against the man who valued his pearls so little that he was willing to fling them into the muck and let them become the occasion for a whole concert of grunting, transcribed by the court stenographer.

Dominique Francon

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

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

[Luther] was personally affronted when a Jew he had converted to Lutheranism relapsed and returned to Torah and Talmud. Saying that the next time he baptized a Jew, he would take him to the river Elbe, hang a stone round his neck and drop him in with the words: “I baptize you in the name of Abraham.”

Paul Kriwaczek

Imagine if you had to pay your credit card bill the way you pay your taxes.

Each month, Visa would send you a blank form. The form would instruct you to gather all your receipts, write down every purchase you had made, and calculate the total amount you owed Visa.

After you sent in your bill, Visa would check its records. If you’d forgotten a receipt and underpaid, Visa would fine you. If you’d made a big enough mistake, you’d go to jail.

Alex Mayyasi

A cousin in need, is a cousin indeed.

Bertie Wooster

Sometimes - not often, but sometimes - less is more.

Donald J. Trump

Impact investing is like a houseboat. It’s not a great house and not a great boat.

Marc Andreessen

'@elonmusk Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging… @elonmusk It shall be called “The Boring Company” @elonmusk Boring, it’s what we do @elonmusk I am actually going to do this

Elon Musk

I'm not important enough to have what the rich and powerful call “people.” Most of us aren’t. The average personal assistant is paid about $31,000 a year, while the average wage for the U.S. job market is roughly $5,000 less than that. In other words, for a majority of Americans, it would be a sizable step up just to become a personal assistant.

Mark Wilson

Rejected for a vital business loan, FedEx founder Fred Smith took the young company’s final $5,000 to Las Vegas, where he successfully ‘raised’ $24,000 at the blackjack table just in time to pay their fuel bill and keep the company afloat. Today FedEx has over $46 billion in assets.

Rob Rhinehart

Dance until your feet hurt. Sing until your lungs hurt. Act until you’re William Hurt.

Phil Dunphy

When the art world can produce something as compelling as twitter, we start paying attention to it again.

Kenneth Goldsmith

We have three baskets for investing: yes, no and too tough to understand.

Charlie Munger

Money is the anthem Of success

Lana Del Rey

i believe in annoyed at first sight

Pakalu Papito

Mein Vater fand Freude an prächtigen Gebäuden, großen Mengen Juwelen, Silber, Gold und äußerlicher Magnifizienz – erlauben Sie, dass ich auch mein Vergnügen habe, das hauptsächlich in einer Menge guter Truppen besteht.

Friedrich Wilhelm I.

“AFTER God had carried us safe to New England, and we had builded our houses, provided necessaries for our livelihood, reared convenient places for God’s worship and settled Civil Government, one of the next things we longed for and looked for was to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity.” So ran the first university fundraising brochure, sent from Harvard College to England in 1643 to drum up cash.

We have a passion for keeping things simple.

Charlie Munger

In good films, there is always a directness that entirely frees us from the itch to interpret.

Susan Sontag

The idea of excessive diversification is madness. We don’t believe that widespread diversification will yield a good result. We believe almost all good investments will involve relatively low diversification. If you took our top fifteen decisions out, we’d have a pretty average record. It wasn’t hyperactivity, but a hell of a lot of patience. You stuck to your principles, and when opportunities came along, you pounced on them with vigour. Berkshire in it’s history has made money betting on sure things.

Charlie Munger

we didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost

Stephen Elop

Riefenstahl’s films are still effective because, among other reasons, their longings are still felt, because their content is a romantic ideal to which many continue to be attached, and which is expressed in such diverse modes of cultural dissidence and propaganda for new forms of community as the youth/rock culture, primal therapy, Laing’s antipsychiatry, Third World camp-following, and belief in gurus and the occult.

The exaltation of community does not preclude the search for absolute leadership; on the contrary, it may inevitably lead to it. (Not surprisingly, a fair number of the young people now prostrating themselves before gurus and submitting to the most grotesquely autocratic discipline are former anti-authoritarians and anti-elitists of the 1960s.)

And Riefenstahl’s devotion to the Nuba, a tribe not ruled by one supreme chief or shaman, does not mean she has lost her eye for the seducer-performer—even if she has to settle for a nonpolitician. Since she finished her work on the Nuba some years ago, one of her main projects has been photographing Mick Jagger.

Susan Sontag

Actress Lynne Frederick was a beautiful English rose mostly known for her marriages to comic-acting genius Peter Sellers and a pre-knighthood Sir David Frost, as well as an untimely death at the age of 39 from substance abuse. After a promising start in motion pictures, Frederick’s acting career stagnated during the late 1970s, and she became known as something akin to a “professional wife” in the entertainment business, winning a reputation as one of the film industry’s great gold-diggers.

Too often film criticism becomes a form of independent literature in which throw-away puns reflect the frustrations of the critic’s solitude.

Paul Coates

Math is distortion-free, which repels the distorters.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

Yogi Berra

The internet is for everybody who doesn’t live in New York City.

Nam June Paik

No more soft and cuddly feelings for Greece. This country is not a victim of its creditors but actually a borderline spend-thrift, sovereign criminal. It is time for the truth and the economic truth is horrifically unpleasant. +/- 2% of Euro-zone GDP and 99% of the mind-share and headaches. And my husband calls me “high maintenance“? Give me a break. Greece is the ultimate drama-queen.


To Greece’s credit [no pun intended] the recent election was both free + democratic. But think about it…the vote centered on whether, or not, to approve of more favorable terms from their “sugar daddies”…including a debt “haircut”. What deeply indentured debtor wouldn’t vote for that? I’m surprised that almost 40% of the people voted against it…perhaps they were just misinformed as to the meaning of a “yes” vote?

Dominique Dassault

When I was a little boy, I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised, the Lord, in his wisdom, doesn’t work that way. So I just stole one and asked Him to forgive me.

Emo Philips

'@GARYMOODY65: @JamesBlunt why you only got 200k followers? @JAMESBLUNT: Jesus only needed twelve.

James Blunt

Elon Musk, Richard Branson and Oprah wake up hungry every day. Especially Oprah.

Adam Carolla

You have to be a madman to spot a nymphette. You also have to be an artist.

Humpert Humpert

Some of my best friends have hated Nixon all their lives. My mother hates Nixon, my son hates Nixon, I hate Nixon, and this hatred has brought us together.

Nixon laughed when I told him this. “Don’t worry,” he said, “I, too, am a family man, and we feel the same way about you.”

Hunter S. Thompson

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

NARRATOR: This programming brought to you in part by Kobe brand condoms. The protection you want for the sex she doesn't.

Seth MacFarlane

The next year, Merkel was granted permission to travel to Hamburg for a cousin’s wedding. After riding the miraculously comfortable trains through West Germany, she returned to East Berlin convinced that the socialist system was doomed. “She came back very impressed, but she came back,” Schindhelm said. “She stayed not out of loyalty to the state but because she had her network there, her family.” Merkel, in her early thirties, was looking forward to 2014—when she would turn sixty, collect her state pension, and be allowed to travel to California.

George Packer

When I was in business, colleagues and associates talked about arts and literature; when I became an author all they talked about was money; in academia where I am now all they talk about is rank and power.

Business (as a barbell with plenty free time on the side) has been the purest way to engage in intellectual life.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

When she sailed into our flat, the whole area began to take on a tantalizing, exotic fragrance that later in life I recognized as the standard odor of a bordello.

Groucho Marx

There’ll never be a revolution in this country. Not another one at any rate. We chopped the head off a king once and felt so guilty about it that we’ve been trying to make up for it ever since.

Kate Atkinson

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.

Charlie Munger

Letter to Baron de Rothschild

Saul has killed thousands. Your excellency will kill tens of thousands! I sign, with complete humbleness,

Ben Zion Ben Yehuda, Colonel of the Hebrew Army

Ben Zion Ben Yehuda

His [Carl Braun at C. F. Braun Company] rule for all the Braun Company’s communication was called the Five W’s, you had to tell who was going to do what, where, when and why. And if you wrote a letter or directive in the Braun Company telling somebody to do something, and you didn’t tell him why, you could get fired. In fact, you would get fired if you did it twice. You might ask why is that so important? Well, again that’s a rule of psychology. Just as you think better if you array knowledge on a bunch of models that are basically answers to the question why, why, why, if you always tell people why, they’ll understand it better, they’ll consider it more important, and they’ll be more likely to comply. Even it they don’t understand your reason, they’ll be more likely to comply.

Charlie Munger

But the severest thing that has been said about Palestine was said here in Jerusalem. A pilgrim with his periodical ecstasy upon him (it usually comes in a flush of happiness after dinner) finished his apostophe with, “O, that I could be here at the Second Advent!”

A grave gentleman said, “It will not occur in Palestine.”


“The Second Advent will take place elsewhere–possibly in America.”


“I speak reasonably. You are in the Holy Land. You have seen the Holy Land once?”


“Shall you ever want to come here again?”


“My friend, the Savior has been here once!”

Mark Twain

I believe that in a great city, or even in a small city or a village, a great theater is the outward and visible sign of an inward and probable culture.

Laurence Olivier

The great of this world are often blamed for not doing what they could have done. They can reply: Just think of all the evil that we could have done and have not done.

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Taste is the new correct English.

Kanye West

The first sensibility, that of high culture, is basically moralistic. The second sensibility, that of extreme states of feeling, represented in much contemporary “avant-garde” art, gains power by a tension between moral and aesthetic passion. The third, Camp, is wholly aesthetic.

Camp is the consistently aesthetic experience of the world. It incarnates a victory of “style” over “content,” “aesthetics” over “morality,” of irony over tragedy.

Style is everything. Genet’s ideas, for instance, are very Camp. Genet’s statement that “the only criterion of an act is its elegance” is virtually interchangeable, as a statement, with Wilde’s “in matters of great importance, the vital element is not sincerity, but style.”

Camp – Dandyism in the age of mass culture – makes no distinction between the unique object and the mass-produced object. Camp taste transcends the nausea of the replica.

It was Wilde who formulated an important element of the Camp sensibility – the equivalence of all objects – when he announced his intention of “living up” to his blue-and-white china, or declared that a doorknob could be as admirable as a painting. When he proclaimed the importance of the necktie, the boutonniere, the chair, Wilde was anticipating the democratic esprit of Camp.

Jews and homosexuals are the outstanding creative minorities in contemporary urban culture. Creative, that is, in the truest sense: they are creators of sensibilities. The two pioneering forces of modern sensibility are Jewish moral seriousness and homosexual aestheticism and irony.

Susan Sontag

“I live by morals, I don’t live by laws,” Hotz declared in the story. “Laws are something made by assholes.”

Ashlee Vance

The socialists always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them.

Margaret Thatcher

Among the greatest hosts in history, Ptolemies sent their guests stumbling home with gifts. It was not unusual to make off with a place setting of solid silver, a slave, a gazelle, a gold sofa, a horse in silver armor.

Stacy Schiff

When Warren lectures at business schools, he says ‘I could improve your ultimate financial welfare by giving you a ticket with only twenty slots in it so that you had twenty punches – representing all the investments that you got to make in a lifetime. And once you’d punched through the card, you couldn’t make any more investments at all. ‘ He says ‘Under those rules, you’d really think carefully about what you did, and you’d be forced to load up what you’d really thought about. So you’d do so much better.’ Again, this is a concept that seems perfectly obvious to me. And to Warren it seems perfectly obvious. But this is one of the very few business classes in the United States where anybody will be saying so. It just isn’t the conventional wisdom. To me it’s obvious that the winner has to bet selectively. It’s been obvious to me since very early in life. I don’t know why it’s not obvious to very many other people.

Charlie Munger

In 2013 alone, Charlie spent $1,629,507 on hookers. We know this because his production company listed them as expenses in its tax returns. The expenses were labeled as “Friendly Entertainment.”

Brian Warner

It is a myth that markets are there for the discovery of “the” price. Markets are there so we can keep changing opinion about the price.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

One does not inhabit a country; one inhabits a language. That is our country, our fatherland – and no other.

Emil Cioran

The ultimate test of freedom is whether you <em>have to</em> explain why you did something.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

There is a lot of baggage that comes with us. But it’s like Louis Vuitton baggage - you always want it.

Kim Kardashian

Here is an exchange that has never happened: How are you so good at sex? I was homeschooled.

John Oliver

But technique, which counts for so much when a picture doesn’t have it, counts for very little when it’s all a picture has.

Pauline Kael

By July of 1967 Howard Hughes is the largest single landholder in Clark Country, Nevada. “Howard likes Las Vegas,” an acquaintance of Hughes’s once explained, “because he likes to be able to find a restaurant open in case he wants a sandwich.

Joan Didion

To have a stable social life, filter out those who get easily offended by offending them early on.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

I had a very close relationship with this other kid. I was his imaginary friend.

Emo Philips

'@RACHELJOHNSTO96: @JamesBlunt my dog could do better!!!!! @JAMESBLUNT: Then your dog should try harder.

James Blunt

At age 19, George Boole did a startup: he started his own elementary school. It seems to have been decently successful, and in fact Boole continued making his living running (or “conducting” as it was then called) schools until he was in his thirties. He was involved with a few people educated in places like Cambridge, notably through the local Mechanics’ Institute (a little like a modern community college). But mostly he seems just to have learned by reading books on his own.


It wasn’t long before he was interacting with leading British mathematicians of the day, and getting positive feedback. He considered going to Cambridge to become a “university person”, but was put off when told that he would have to start with the standard undergraduate course, and stop doing his own research.

Stephen Wolfram

I figured he was cool and he was cuddly and he cooked Chinese so I couldn’t do any better.

Iris Apfel

[…] Strauss remarked on the Epicurean view of history, “Of past sorrows Epicurus takes no heat. He recalls his past only in so far as it is pleasurable. It is the decisive characteristic of the Epicurean, that he is incapable of suffering from his past.” Nothing could be more un-Jewish. And one sees again why the great Rabbis used Epicurean as a term of the greatest abuse. An Epicurean attitude toward memory is antithetical to Judaism.

Harold Bloom

If you stay rational yourself, the stupidity of the world helps you.

Charlie Munger

It still pleases me to be awake during the dark, early hours before morning when everyone else is still asleep. I’ve been that way since I first moved to New York. I do my best thinking and writing then. During those early years in New York, I often got on my motorcycle in the middle of the night and went for a ride–anyplace. There wasn’t much crime in the city then, and if you owned a motorcycle, you left it outside your apartment and in the morning it was still there. It was wonderful on summer nights to cruise around the city at one, two, or three A.M. wearing jeans and a t-shirt with a girl on the seat behind me. If I didn’t start out with one, I’d find one.

Marlon Brando

I’m going to put off reading Lolita for six years. I’m waiting ’til she turns eighteen.

Groucho Marx

There was shame in this feeling - his own shame that he should have to pronounce such judgment upon a man, that he should know an emotion that did not contain a shred of respect. This is pity, he thought. There must be something terribly wrong with the world where this monstrous feeling is called a virtue.

Ayn Rand

There’s an old joke, which holds that in heaven, the cooks are French, the cops are English, and the engineers are German; whereas in hell, the cooks are English, the cops are German, and the engineers are French. We live in a sort of silly cultural hell where the columns are composed by Thomas Friedman, the novels are written by Jonathan Franzen, the debate is framed by CNN, and the fact-checking is done by no one.

Barrett Brown

I’ve got the clap, and the blueballs too. The clap don’t hurt, but the blueballs do.

Kurt Vonnegut

When I joined the faculty at Wharton, the world’s oldest collegiate business school, I decided to try a giving experiment in my classroom. I announced that we would be running an exercise called the Reciprocity Ring, which was developed by University of Michigan sociologist Wayne Baker and his wife Cherylat Humax. Each student would make a request to the class, and the rest of the class would by to use their knowledge, resources, and connections to help fulfill the request. The request could be anything meaningful in their professional or personal lives, ranging from job leads to travel tips. In a matter ot minuies, I was facing a line of students—some cynical, others anxious. One student pronounced that the exercise wouldn’t work, because there aren’t any givers at Wharton; givers study medicine or social work, not business. Another admitted that he would love advice from more experienced peers on strengthening his candidacy for consulting jobs, but he knew they wouldn’t help him, since they were competing with him for these positions. Soon, these students watched in disbelief as their peers began to use their networks to help one another. A junior named Alex announced that he loved amusement parks, and he came to Wharton in the hopes of one day running Six Flags. He wasn’t sure how to get started—could anyone help him break into the industry? A classmate, Andrew, raised his hand and said he had a weak tie to the former CEO of Six Flags. Andrew went out on a limb to connect them, and a few weeks later, Alex received invaluable career advice from the ex-CEO. A senior named Michelle confided that she had a friend whose growth was stunted due to health problems, and couldn’t find clothes that fit. A fellow senior, Jessica, had an uncle in the fashion business, and she contacted him for help. Three months later, custom garments arrived at the doorstep of Michelle’s friend. Wayne Baker has led Reciprocity Rings at many companies, from GM to Bristol-Myers Squibb. Oftentimes, he brings leaders and managers together from competing companies in the same industry and invites them to make requests and help one another. In one session, a pharmaceutical executive was about to pay an outside vendor $50,000 to synthesize a strain of the PCS alkaloid. The executive asked if anyone could help find a cheaper alternative. One of the group members happened to have slack capacity in his lab, and was able to do it for free. The Reciprocity Ring can be an extremely powerful experience. Bud Ahearn, a group president at CH2M HILL, noted that leaders in his company “are strong endorsers, not only because of the hundreds of thousands of annual dollar value, but because of the remarkable potential to advance the quality of our ‘whole’ lives.” Baker has asked executives to estimate the dollar value and time saved in participating for two and a half hours. Thirty people in an engineering and architectural consulting firm estimated savings exceeding $250,000 and fifty days. Fifteen people in a global pharmaceutical firm estimated savings of more than $90,000 and sixty-seven days.

Adam M. Grant

The Greeks may have invented sex but the Italians added women.

Goldman Sachs Elevator

I hate little boys. I’m like the opposite of a pedophile.

Louis C.K.

I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.

Ayn Rand

MEL: Do you know what time it is? CHER: A watch doesn't really go with this outfit, daddy.

Amy Heckerling

The women of the Right are certainly the most beautiful … the Left has no taste, not even when it comes to women

Silvio Berlusconi

I came up with the definition of true freedom. You encounter true freedom in the following way: when what stops you from the expression of your real opinion is not fear of position (in employment) nor need to preserve a reputation (say in business, politics or academia) but merely tact and social elegance. You don’t say it because you care & do not want to hurt other people’s feelings.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

I had a soft spot in my heart for Ronald Reagan, if only because he was a sportswriter in his youth, and also because his wife gave the best head in Hollywood.

Hunter S. Thompson

If I were an Eskimo, I would build my igloo next to a supermarket or on a tropical beach.

David Thorne

Philip made this hat for Karl Lagerfeld many years ago as a sample for Chanel couture. It’s called “The Sweets Hat” and meant to look like “Ivanka Trumps fancy garbage.”

Lady Gaga

Thierry de la Villehuchet – an acquaintance of mine – just killed himself in the aftereffects of the Madoff case. He had dragged his clients into investing with Madoff . “Killing himself over money?” I kept hearing. No, it is not about the money –it was other people’s money. It is about dignity. I could not help comparing it to Madoff, pictured walking around Manhattan with a faint smirk –totally insensitive to the harm he caused.

This is an aristocratic act coming from an aristocratic character: you take your own life when you believe that you failed somewhere – and the solution is to inflict the ultimate penalty on yourself. It is not the money; but the embarrassment, the shame, the guilt that are hard to bear. Someone callous, indifferent to the harm done to others would have lived comfortably (“it is all about money”). A life of shame is not worth living. Christianity never allowed suicide; the stoics did –it allows a man to get the last word with fate.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

A harem of women seemed like an eminently good idea to Sylvie – sharing the burden of a wife’s duties and so on.

Kate Atkinson

Consider the all too facile comparisons that have recently been made between George Bush and Saddam Hussein (or Osama bin Laden, or Hitler, etc.)—in the pages of writers like Roy and Chomsky, in the Arab press, and in classrooms throughout the free world. How would George Bush have prosecuted the recent war in Iraq with perfect weapons? Would he have targeted the thousands of Iraqi civilians who were maimed or killed by our bombs? Would he have put out the eyes of little girls or torn the arms from their mothers? Whether or not you admire the man’s politics—or the man—there is no reason to think that he would have sanctioned the injury or death of even a single innocent person. What would Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden do with perfect weapons? What would Hitler have done? They would have used them rather differently.

Sam Harris

In Nabokov’s Lolita, Humbert Humbert tortures himself with images of his nymphet in the arms of “kissy-faced brutes”; that’s what Top Gun is full of. When McGillis is offscreen, the movie is a shiny homoerotic commercial featuring the elite fighter pilots in training at San Diego’s Miramar Naval Air Station. […] What is this commercial selling? It’s just selling, because that’s what the producers, Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, and the director, Tony (Make It Glow) Scott, know how to do. Selling is what they think moviemaking is about. The result is a new “art” form: the self-referential commercial. Top Gun is a recruiting poster that isn’t concerned with recruiting, but with being a poster.

Pauline Kael

Too fucking busy, and vice versa.

Dorothy Parker

At the end, Schwarzenegger makes his ritual preparations for the climactic showdown, decking himself out in leather, packing up an arsenal of guns, and, as he leaves his apartment, copping a quick look of satisfaction in the mirror. It’s his only love scene.

Pauline Kael

Now some of you might say, as many people do: “Aw, I never think in such abstract terms — I want to deal with concrete, particular, real-life problems — what do I need philosophy for?”

My answer is: In order to be able to deal with concrete, particular, real-life problems — i.e., in order to be able to live on earth.

You might claim — as most people do — that you have never been influenced by philosophy. I will ask you to check that claim.

Have you ever thought or said the following? “Don’t be so sure — nobody can be certain of anything.” You got that notion from David Hume (and many, many others), even though you might never have heard of him. Or: “This may be good in theory, but it doesn’t work in practice.” You got that from Plato. Or: “That was a rotten thing to do, but it’s only human, nobody is perfect in this world.” You got it from Augustine. Or: “It may be true for you, but it’s not true for me.” You got it from William James. Or: “I couldn’t help it! Nobody can help anything he does.” You got it from Hegel. Or: “I can’t prove it, but I feel that it’s true.” You got it from Kant. Or: “It’s logical, but logic has nothing to do with reality.” You got it from Kant. Or: “It’s evil, because it’s selfish.” You got it from Kant. Have you heard the modern activists say: “Act first, think afterward”? They got it from John Dewey. Some people might answer: “Sure, I’ve said those things at different times, but I don’t have to believe that stuff all of the time. It may have been true yesterday, but it’s not true today.” They got it from Hegel. They might say: “Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” They got it from a very little mind, Emerson. They might say: “But can’t one compromise and borrow different ideas from different philosophies according to the expediency of the moment?” They got it from Richard Nixon — who got it from William James.

Ayn Rand

Other people are trying to be smart, all I’m trying to be is non-idiotic. I’ve found that’s all you have to do to get ahead in life, be non-idiotic and live a long time. It’s harder to be non-idiotic than most people think.

Charlie Munger

I think a lot about electric cars.

Elon Musk

I am only impressed by a man’s two attributes: courage & erudition. I disrespect those who lack the former, & crave the company of those endowed with the latter. Erudition is wealth, robust knowledge, being alive; it is organic diversification & signals open mindedness.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

They misunderestimated me.

George W. Bush

You’re only as young as the woman you feel.

Groucho Marx

Gaudí’s lurid and beautiful buildings in Barcelona are Camp not only because of their style but because they reveal — most notably in the Cathedral of the Sagrada Familia — the ambition on the part of one man to do what it takes a generation, a whole culture to accomplish.

Susan Sontag

My relationship with death remains the same - I’m strongly against it.

Woody Allen

DEBORAH: I don't speak Hebrew. ELIEZER: Then you will be silent in Hebrew.

Eliezer Ben Yehuda

Wer eine Jogginghose trägt, hat die Kontrolle über sein Leben verloren.

Karl Lagerfeld

The Golden Rule (do to others what you want them to do to you) is an invitation to interventionism, utopianism, and meddling into other people’s affairs, particularly poor nations, as represented by the people at the NGO clowns at TED conferences trying to “save the world”, and causing more harm with unseen side effects. Remember that Mao, Stalin, Lenin, and were following the positive Golden rule. At the personal level, I may feel good forcing a vegetarian to eat raw kebbeh (Lebanese steak tartare) because I like it myself.

The Silver rule (do NOT do to others what you don’t want them to do to you) leads to a systematic way to live “doing no harm” and gives rise to a liberating type of ethics: your obligation is to pursue your personal interests provided you do not hurt others, do not transfer risks to them. But, and here is the key, should there be a spillover, it will necessarily be positive. It is therefore convex. It separates the “self-interest” in Adam Smith from the “selfish” version. And if you want to help society, just try to benefit WHILE at least harming no one.

This distinction puts a lot of clarity behind the idea of free markets and morality. You should never have to prove that what you do is GOOD for society (hard to express in words and rationalistic framework), but you can certainly show you are NOT hurting others more than yourself via skin-in-the-game.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

On Jan. 22, Rush D. Holt, a Democrat who represents central New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District, introduced a resolution designating Feb. 12, 2013 — Charles Darwin’s 204th birthday — as Darwin Day, “recognizing the importance of science in the betterment of humanity.”


Mr. Holt, a nuclear physicist by training, would probably not have the support of his colleague Paul Broun, a Republican from Georgia’s 10th Congressional District. Representative Broun, a doctor, is famous among science lovers for having told the Liberty Baptist Church Sportsman’s Banquet last fall that “all that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang theory, all that is lies, straight from the pit of hell.”


Many Christians, of course, believe that Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is compatible with a Christian worldview. The Roman Catholic Church, for example, is comfortable with Darwin, especially as his work relates to the evolution of bodies (souls come from God).

Mark Oppenheimer

Could this be the most uninspired menu in New York? The mussels come in a garlic-white-wine sauce. The waiter says there aren’t any this evening. A bowl of mixed olives is eight dollars. (“Kalamata, Niçoise, Cerignola, green” is the explanation.) Mains include salmon à la vapeur and a mustard chicken, like at a wedding or in seat 60D on a long-distance flight. And the mac and cheese is twenty dollars, because someone thought very hard about truffles when making it. […] The last Happy Ending had anything but—it closed in 2013, many years after its glory days in the mid-two-thousands, when it was rife with birthday parties, bachelorettes, and complicated group checks. […] So for those stuck aboveground, or eating before 9, there are quotidian concerns, like protein: a duck breast cooked so emphatically that it tastes like the filet mignon, and four chunks of salmon that never stood a chance against a garrulous green-curry sauce. Generally French standards, served under helpfully low lights, seems to be the concept.

Amelia Lester

Rudin pays the bill.

“Anyone interesting on your plane?” he asks me, as we head to the car.

“No. Anyone interesting on yours?”

“Only me.”

Philip Weiss


  1. Call someone who has no friends, just to say hello, letting the person know that you do not need anything specific from him/her. Have coffee with lonely people twice a month.

  2. Do not read more than one new book a week –if needed re-read (and read no book you wouldn’t reread). Read no book written by, or co-authored with, a journalist. Do not do write more than 2 hours a day. Do not do mathematics more than 4 hours in any given day. Walk 2 hours every day regardless of weather. Do not go the gym more than 5 times in any given month and/or do not spend more than 30 minutes per visit.

  3. Fast one day every week on average. Eat meat only on festivals, but then splurge.

  4. Respect the janitor more than the chairman and respect those who respect the janitor more than the chairman.

  5. Do not read the latest “breakthrough” experiment in psychology about, say, the effect of taking cold showers on grammatical ability. Better even read nothing about these “experiments”.

  6. Pick a lobbyist (preferably Monsanto/GMO) or some economist harmful to the collective and make life mis- erable for him, especially if the reaction entails some personal and reputational risks for you.

  7. Give to someone who needs money but doesn’t ask for it while finding an excuse to preserve his/her dignity.

  8. Use courage and wisdom, not labor, for your income.

  9. Humiliate people who define success in any other way than honor. In the end realize that you are only as valuable as the risks you are taking for the sake of others.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

It looks as if the Jewish people were the chosen people, in the sense at least, that the Jewish problem is the most manifest symbol of the human problem as a social or political problem.

Harold Bloom

A Mormon told me that they don’t drink coffee. I said, “A cup of coffee every day gives you wonderful benefits.” He said, “Like what?” I said, “Well, it keeps you from being Mormon …”

Emo Philips

Das Mitleiden kreuzt im Ganzen Grossen das Gesetz der Entwicklung, welches das Gesetz der Selection ist. Es erhält, was zum Untergange reif ist, es wehrt sich zu Gunsten der Enterbten und Verurtheilten des Lebens, es giebt durch die Fülle des Missrathnen aller Art, das es im Leben festhält, dem Leben selbst einen düsteren und fragwürdigen Aspekt.

Friedrich Nietzsche

"I don't mind the idea of dying," my friend Elizabeth says, "but I'm stressed out about the logistics of the whole thing."

Lena Dunham

When asked if they would like to have sex with me, 30% of women said, "Yes", while the other 70% replied, "What, again?"

Silvio Berlusconi

I know I will go to hell, because I pardoned Richard Nixon.

Gerald Ford

One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don’t know.

Captain Spaulding

Skepticism is like sex and pizza: when it’s good, it’s very very good, and when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.

Scott S Alexander

There is no point in being confident and having a small position.

George Soros

They were like ‘AA this’ and I was like ‘Bye bye that’.

Charlie Sheen

The day is short, the task is great.

Rabbi Tarfon

Lying, the telling of beautiful untrue things, is the proper aim of Art.

Oscar Wilde

BOBBY BACCILIERI: To the victor, belongs the spoils. TONY SOPRANO: Why don’t you get the fuck outta here before I shove your quotations book up your fat fuckin’ ass.

David Chase

If I, taking care of everyone’s interests, also take care of my own, you can’t talk about a conflict of interest.

Silvio Berlusconi

Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.

Roger Miller

If God in his wisdom had only consulted me before embarking on His creation of the world, I would have suggested something simpler.

Alfonso the Learned

AMBER: Ms. Stoeger, my plastic surgeon doesn't want me doing any activity where balls fly at my nose. DIONNE: Well, there goes your social life.

Amy Heckerling

Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.

Marcus Aurelius

The fundamental problem of political philosophy is still precisely the one that Spinoza saw so clearly (and that Wilhelm Reich rediscovered): Why do men fight for their servitude as stubbornly as though it were their salvation?

Gilles Deleuze

Never trust the teller, trust the tale. The proper function of a critic is to save the tale from the artist who created it.

D.H. Lawrence

Das Christenthum hat die Partei alles Schwachen, Niedrigen, Missrathnen genommen, es hat ein Ideal aus dem Widerspruch gegen die Erhaltungs-Instinkte des starken Lebens gemacht; es hat die Vernunft selbst der geistigstärksten Naturen verdorben, indem es die obersten Werthe der Geistigkeit als sündhaft, als irreführend, als Versuchungen empfinden lehrte. Das jammervollste Beispiel – die Verderbniss Pascals, der an die Verderbniss seiner Vernunft durch die Erbsünde glaubte, während sie nur durch sein Christenthum verdorben war!

Friedrich Nietzsche

I think that crime definitely pays, it’s a great job, the hours are good and you’re our own boss and you travel a lot and you get to meet interesting people.

Virgil Starkwell

Das macht den Menschen glücklich, Das macht den Menschen matt, Wenn er drei sehr schöne Geliebte Und nur zwei Beine hat.

Heinrich Heine

VANITY FAIR: If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be? ROBERT EVANS: Helmut Newton’s camera.

Robert Evans

By definition, as a Prime Minister I cannot be a liar.

Silvio Berlusconi

He grew up with the untrammelled self-confidence and competitiveness of a brilliant loner. He became a math prodigy and a nationally ranked chess player; his chess kit was decorated with a sticker carrying the motto “Born to Win.” (On the rare occasions when he lost in college, he swept the pieces off the board; he would say, “Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.”)

George Packer

I think we agree, the past is over.

George W. Bush

If you only wished to be happy, this could be easily accomplished; but we wish to be happier than other people, and this is always difficult, for we believe others to be happier than they are.


With their scattered diaspora and entrepreneurial traditions, the Chinese have sometimes been called the Jews of Asia. The Fujianese, who are famous for their adventurism and business savvy, are occasionally described as the Jews of China. The people of Changle, Lin Li tells me, are the Jews of Fujian Province.

Patrick Radden Keefe

I need an animation feature like I need two assholes.

Leon Schlesinger

Usually critics who want to praise a work of art feel compelled to demonstrate that each part is justified, that it could not be other than it is. And every artist, when it comes to his own work, remembering the role of chance, fatigue, external distractions, knows what the critic says to be a lie, knows that it could well have been otherwise.

Susan Sontag

After all is said and done, more is said than done.


If you wanna be with me Baby there's a price to pay I'm a genie in a bottle (In a bottle baby) You gotta rub me the right way

Christina Aguilera

When the Okies left Oklahoma and moved to California, they raised the average intelligence level in both states.

Will Rogers

The profanity, which is an extension of adolescent humor, is central to the idea of the movie. The silliness of adolescents — compulsively making jokes, seeing the ridiculous in everything — is what makes sanity possible here. The doctor who rejects adolescent behavior flips out. Adolescent pride in skills and games — in mixing a Martini or in devising a fishing lure or in golfing—keeps the men from becoming maniacs. Sutherland and Gould, and Tom Skerritt, as a third surgeon, and a lot of freakishly talented new-to-movies actors are relaxed and loose in their roles. Their style of acting underscores the point of the picture, which is that people who aren’t hung up by pretensions, people who are loose and profane and have some empathy – people who can joke about anything — can function, and maybe even do something useful, in what may appear to be insane circumstances.

Pauline Kael

So I disagree with the followers of Marx and those of Adam Smith. The reason free markets work is because they allow people to be lucky thanks to aggressive trial and error not by giving rewards or incentives for skill. The strategy is then to tinker and try to collect as many black swan opportunities as you can.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

But it should be noted that interpretation is not simply the compliment that mediocrity pays to genius.

Susan Sontag