Quotes of the Day

Eliezer blogs some excellent quotes. My favorites indented followed by a brief comment.

"When you’re young, you look at television and think, There’s a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that’s not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. That’s a far more depressing thought. Conspiracy is optimistic! You can shoot the bastards!"
        — Steve Jobs

When you get a little older, you learn about markets, consumers, and producers.

"Someone walking down the street with absolutely no scars or calluses would look pretty odd. I suspect having a conversation with someone who’d never taken any emotional or mental damage would be even odder. The line between "experience" and "damage" is pretty thin."
        — Aliza, from the Open-Source Wish Project

Often said, often true: those who’ve endured some tough breaks, or have had to deal with shit in their life, are usually stronger and more interesting than those who appear to have pranced through life unblemished.

"I’ve met these people, the ones from the glossy magazines. I’ve walked among them. I have seen, firsthand, their callow, empty lives. I have watched them from the shadows when they thought themselves alone. And I can tell you this: I’m afraid there is not one of them who would swap lives with you at gunpoint."
        — Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys

And yet, no matter how many times we hear this, most of us still secretly desire the lives of money and fame we see on television.

"If we are fervently passionate about the idea that fire is hot, we are more rational than the man who calmly and quietly says fire is cold."
        — Tom McCabe

4 comments on “Quotes of the Day
  • I’m not sure I’m parsing the Neil Gaiman quote correctly.

    If the famous would not swap lives with us grunts at gunpoint, doesn’t it mean that despite their callow empty lives, they still find fame and fortune attractive enough to cling to with undying ferocity?

    Is Gaiman making a point about the seductiveness of celebrity, in that despite being callow and empty, it remains irresistable, or is he saying that celebrity changes those it impacts so that they come to value its nihilistic charms?

    I’m a bit confused.

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