Tweets: Quotes

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“98% chance a 7-magnitude earthquake hits Tokyo in the next three decades.” -The Atlantic;
“Choosing whether or not to have children is…the most significant ethical debate of most people’s lives.”;
“Standing in line in airports and other everyday rituals of modern life are the kinds of things that civilize us”;
OH: “Wedding planners are biggest competition to funeral homes, since ‘life celebrations’ (vs traditional funeral) are becoming more common”;
Shawn Achor’s definition of happiness: “the joy we feel striving after our potential.”;
Bill Maher’s proposal for National Day of No Outrage: “If you see or hear something you don’t like in the media, just go on with your life.”;
“It is on the smallest shoulders that the heaviest price of war is laid.” A Memorial Day photo:;
“…he keeps us just this side of seriousness; reading his novel is like submitting to a long and almost imperceptibly light tickling.” -BM;
“Yes, it’s better to suspend judgment rather than embrace error. But agnostic, neutral thinkers have little to say and less to teach.” -B.C;
“The fed’l govt spends $18 billion a year on 47 separate job training programs run by 9 different agencies.” Little to no data on results.;
“Economic activity consists of sustainable patterns of specialization and trade.” -Arnold Kling;
“We need to blend systematic analysis and intuition. [Two modes of thinking.] Neither gives us a direct path to the truth.” -Gary Klein;
When Bill Clinton assembled the top minds of the nation to discuss the economy in 1992, no one mentioned the Internet. -David Leonhardt;
“Nearly 2/3 of the U.S. federal budget is spent on the 4 biggest warfare and welfare programs: Medicaid, Medicare, Defense, Social Security”;
What we tell students in formal schooling: “Sit down, stay quiet, and absorb. Do this for 12 to 16 years and all will be well.” -A. Tabarrok;
“Anyone can delegate stuff they don’t like doing. What’s hard is delegating things you *like* doing.” -Robert Laing, myGengo;
One in every three homeless adult men in America is a veteran of a war. 1.4 million vets below poverty line. (source: The Economist);
For every 14 people laid off in the Great Recession who have now been re-hired, only 1 has recovered the same or higher income as before.;
I enjoyed this phrasing: “preposterously self-obsessed, but not the least bit self-aware.” -Ian Cohen, via @Robmontz;
Nassim Taleb: Bankers should be paid the same as other civil servants. They rely on taxpayers to cover downside. Banks should be utilities.;
“Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.” -George Bernard Shaw;
Challenging to “[find] the language that generates alarm that drives action, but not the despair that proves self-fulfilling.” -L. Summers;
“I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. In fact the worst thing is ending up w/ ppl who make you *feel* all alone”;
“…Gates and Ballmer reviewed each other’s calendars monthly and gave feedback to each other on where they should be spending their time.”;
“Conspiracy theories are an irresistible labor-saving device in the face of complexity.” -Henry Louis Gates;
Ignorance: not knowing. Superignorance: thinking you know but actually not knowing. Superignorance leads to astonishment. (via Wildavsky);
“Wisdom is a love affair with questions. Knowledge is a love affair with answers.” -Julio Olalla (via @MarionChapsal @jhagel);
Edward Norton: You know that feeling that you’re going to fail or be exposed as no-good? It never goes away.;
“I tell investors the better int’l expansion goes, the more $$ we’re going to lose, because the faster we’re gonna invest.” -Reed Hastings;
Jonathan Franzen: “Facebook, whose users collectively spend billions of hours renovating their self-regarding projections…”;
“The story of the past half century is that Americans found a way to extract money from future generations and leave them with the bill.” FT;
“It takes no work to *fall* in love. It takes real work to *rise* to a real and lasting friendship.” -Andrew Sullivan;
“The gulf between books and experience,” intoned Samad solemnly, “is a lonely ocean.” (from Zadie Smith’s White Teeth);
Revolutions are made not by the poor but by upwardly mobile middle-class people who find their aspirations stymied. -Sam Huntington via FF;
“Being a writer means you have the challenge of providing the sheet music for the reader, who always sings the song.” -novelist J O’Connor;
“Wondering whether you have power? One sure sign: other people earnestly discuss what kind of mood you’re in.” -Gretchen Rubin;
If you don’t track how many hours your employees work each day/week, why track how many days they take for vacation? -Reed Hastings;
“The criteria for caloric prose is that it be nutritious. Getting at essence isn’t always a matter of stripping away length.” -Paul Harding;
“When you think of the economy, think of a rain forest that you live in and study, not a machine that you fix.” -Arnold Kling;
“Social movements are often bitterly divided over the question of whether to work for change within the system or outside it.”;
“It’s difficult for me to have anything resembling a close friendship with someone who isn’t sure what he ought to find amusing.” -JEpstein;
“If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, there’s still a 30% chance we’re going to get it wrong.” -Joe Biden;
“The fact that markets fail does not mean that government solutions work.” -Arnold Kling;
“Reading breeds the power of an independent mind. When we read well, we are thinking hard for ourselves -this is the essence of freedom.”;
“Colleges are like old-age homes, except for the fact that more people die in colleges.” -Bob Dylan;
“The hardest part of the ‘selling’ process is not getting the sale. It’s getting the meeting.” -Josh Kopelman;
“Travel agents would be wiser to ask us what we hope to change about our lives rather than simply where we wish to go.” -Alain de Botton;
“What you lose as you age is witnesses, the ones that watched from early on and cared, like your own little grandstand.” -John Updike;
“With every grant of security to one group the insecurity of the rest necessarily increases.” -Hayek, Road To Serfdom;
“The misery of being exploited by capitalists is nothing compared to the misery of not being exploited at all.” -Joan Robinson, economist;
“When you really love a writer, what you want is an opinion from them on everything in the world.” -Proust;
“The great man of the age is the one who can put into words the will of his age, tell his age what its will is, and accomplish it.” -Hegel;
“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” -Robert Frost;
Andrew Sullivan on Afghanistan quagmire: “This is how great powers destroy themselves. By the pride of elites and the fears of the masses.”;
“Social life is partly economics and partly theater.” -Edgar Schein;
“If there’s anything worse than self-questioning coming too early in life, it’s self-questioning coming too late.” -Philip Roth;
“All of life is peaks and valley. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.” -John Wooden, who died tonight. RIP.;
“American social movements are often bitterly divided over the question of whether to work for change within the system or outside it.”;
Dan Pink (frmr speechwriter for VP Al Gore): All good speeches have three characteristics: brevity, levity, and repetition.;
“I’m not a risk taker but I do take risks.” -Chris Yeh (@chrisyeh);
“Keep two lists: What gets you up in the morning? What keeps you up at night?” -Alan Webber (founder of Fast Company);
Never say “I could have done that.” Because you didn’t. -Dan Pink;
“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” -Philip Dick;
“Knowledge is gained by learning; trust by doubt; skill by practice; and love by love.” -Thomas S. Szasz (via @VeronicaInLA);
“Memories…are like smoke, changing, ephemeral, and if they’re not written down they fade into oblivion.” -Isabel Allende;
“There are times when his writing becomes as claustrophobic and repetitive as a late-night phone conversation with an unhinged friend.”;
“The double betrayal of a modern liberal arts education: it neither teaches you how to live nor how to work.” -Alain de Botton;
“Courage is not the absence of fear but the capacity for action despite our fears.” -John McCain;
“Uncertainty is the essence of romance.” -Diane Ackerman;
Food advice from Michael Pollan: don’t eat cereal that changes the color of the milk. (via @stevesilberman);
“In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.” -Emerson;
“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” -ELD;
The unsolvable dilemma of liberalism: Must liberals tolerate even the intolerant? -Michael Dorf;
Sometimes being in a car, looking at the road, not having to make eye contact, is the ideal setting for heavy conversation. (Francine Prose);
“Real dissent doesn’t feel like going to school wearing black, but like going to school wearing a clown suit.” -Eliezer Yudkowsky;
“He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts: for support rather than illumination.” -Andrew Lang (via @vaughanbell);
“Reading is the inhale, writing is the exhale.” -Justine Musk (whose blog is indispensable for anyone interested in writing);
“Robbing Peter to pay Paul is a policy that will, at least, guarantee you the vigorous support of Paul.” -George Bernard Shaw;
“People tend to overestimate what can be achieved in the short term but underestimate what can be achieved in the long term.” -Ray Kurzweil;
“One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” -Andre Gide (via @auren);
“It is vain to attempt to keep a secret from one who has a right to know it. It will tell itself.” -Emerson;
“A large part of self-understanding is the search for appropriate personal metaphors that make sense of our lives.” -George Lakoff;
“Good leaders can make a small positive difference; bad leaders can make a huge negative difference.” -Jeffrey Pfeffer;
“The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.” -Robert Frost;
“Life is not what one lived, but what one remembers and how one remembers it in order to recount it.” -Gabriel Garcia Marquez;
“Envy is when you compare your inside to someone else’s outside.” -Stephanie Ericsson. Sounds cheesy but totally true (via @stevesilberman);
“The measure of a successful film is whether it becomes somebody’s favorite.” -James Ponsoldt (ie, opposite of unremarkable “safe” films);
“That’s what happens when you’re angry at people. You make them part of your life.” -Garrison Keillor;
When is the right time to start a business? Never and always. -Mel Ziegler;
“Sharp people distinguish themselves by not assuming more than needed to keep the conversation going.” -Robin Hanson (via @andymckenzie);
I’m not a numbers person,” many people like to say. Almost nobody goes around saying, however, “I’m not a letters person.” -Steve Sailer;
“Curiosity is the first step to insubordination.” -Vladimir Nabokov (via @joshkaufman);
“Willingness 2 be long term oriented + willingness to be misunderstood.” -J Bezos on what has most contributed to his success, RT @zjafri06;
“It’s an unnatural law of parties that the person whose position on guest list was originally least secure is always the first to arrive.” Z;
“The bread of life is better than any soufflé.” -Wallace Stevens, in praise of the habitual and the customary;
“Getting bored is a non-trivial cerebral transformation that doubtlessly took many millions of years for nature to perfect.” -Lee Corbin;
“The philosophical calm behind remarks about the importance of failure can come from only one source -years of success.” -Joseph Epstein;
“Casual down time together…is the glue which binds relationships together in the long run.” -Tyler Cowen;
“When everyone sees Opportunity, they are only seeing the reflection. True Opportunity appears at the market bottom, not at the top.” P Rip;
“Why is it admirable for scientists to love science and businessmen to love biz, but political candidates must [say they] hate politics?” MK;
“People are experience-rich and theory-poor. I help people organize / make sense of their experiences.” -Malcolm Gladwell;
“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” -Mike Tyson, on risk management;
“The one thing you need to know about sustained individual success: Discover what you don’t like doing and stop doing it.“ -M. Buckingham;
“There is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood by those who hear it.” -William James;
“I can be bought. If they paid me enough, I’d work for the Klan.” -Charles Barkley;
“We are in the business of kicking butt and business is very, very good.” -Charles Barkley;
Christopher Hitchens in a debate on the existence of God: “There are no statements worth arguing here, all you can do is underline them.”;
“The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.” -Pascal, Pensées, 136.;


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