There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.
Being a cynic is one of the easiest aspects of investing. Balancing risk, realism, an optimism is the hardest and most important.
In our days we receive three different or contrary educations, namely,
of our parents,
of our masters,
of the world.
What we learn from the latter effaces all the ideas of the former.
Aside from the process of socialization, the greatest lesson we learned was that of “conformity”. We learned how to be instructed, where to stand, where to sit, what to think, and when to talk. We learned that the invitation to ask questions, though sincere by a few teachers, was not in the long term to be taken seriously. We learned to accept authority without question.
The great paradox of self-education is that when you think you know, you don’t;
when you know you don’t, you do,
and the more you learn, the more comfortable you become with how little you know.
As I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked — and rightly so — what about Vietnam? They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.
Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God’s service when it is violating all his laws.
Many people prefer a cage in a zoo to life in a jungle.
No one forgets the truth; they just get better at lying.
Ideology is the science of idiots
If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.
Of course people don’t want war. Why should a poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best thing he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece?
Education is dangerous – Every educated person is a future enemy
Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.
Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.
Don’t be afraid of your enemies, all they can do is kill you.
Don’t be afraid of your friends, all they can do is betray you.
But be always be afraid of silent indifference, because that is where all crimes will be committed.
Great Doubt: great awakening.
Little Doubt: little awakening.
No Doubt: no awakening.
Anyone can become angry, that is easy . . .
but to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way . . . this is not easy.
When people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together
Which of the three asses are you most interested in?
Ass Kicking? Ass Kissing? Ass Covering?
It takes an average of 475 hours to write a novel. Fiction is considered successful if it sells 5,000 copies. Writing a nonfiction book requires about 725 hours. A nonfiction book is deemed successful when it reaches 7,500 copies sold
A man who goes into a hardware store to buy a quarter-inch drill bit does not need a quarter-inch drill bit—he needs a quarter-inch hole.
We tend to make up these stories in the same circumstances in which people come up with conspiracy theories: ignorance and powerlessness. And they share the same flawed premise as most conspiracy theories: that the world is way more well planned and organized than it really is. They ascribe a malevolent intentionality to what is more likely simple ineptitude or neglect.
If there is a book you want to read and no one has written it, then you must write it.
For every successful entrepreneuer who was in the right place at the right time, there are many more who where there, too, in that right place at the right time, but still managed to fail. Henry Ford was joined by nearly five hundred other entrepreneurs in the early twentieth century.
Go out and test yourself today: pick a task just hard enough that you might fail, and try to succeed at it. Reality is painful — it’s so much easier to keep doing stuff you know you’re good at or else to pick something so hard there’s no point at which it’s obvious you’re failing — but it’s impossible to get better without confronting it.
For me, pushing myself is way more about ‘It’s hard to make something that’s interesting.’ It’s really, really hard, and I’m sure we don’t succeed with every story on every show. Basically, anything that anyone makes…It’s like a law of nature, a law of aerodynamics, that anything that’s written or anything that’s created wants to be mediocre. The natural state of all writing is mediocrity. It’s all tending toward mediocrity in the same way that all atoms are sort of dissipating out toward the expanse of the universe. Everything wants to be mediocre, so what it takes to make anything more than mediocre is such a fucking act of will. Anyone who makes something for a living, or even not for a living, if they’re really excited about it…You just have to exert so much will into something for it to be good. That feels exactly the same now as it did the first week of the show. That hasn’t changed at all. That’s the premise of what it takes to make something.
Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your objective. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
Everything that is outstanding in your world and mind, that hasn’t been somehow put onto “cruise control,” will be holding some part of your psyche hostage.
So, simply ask yourself, “What has my attention now?” And then ask, “What do I need to decide, do, handle, and organize, to be able to have my mind let that go?”
Intelligence is the pursuit of objectives in the face of obstacles.
3D printing in 2010 is like the Internet in 1985
Some quite natural events—hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, derechos—have such unimaginable power that the destruction they wreak will always take days, or weeks, or months to fix. No society can afford to harden the infrastructure that supports it to make that infrastructure immune to such destructive forces.
Add terrorism to that list.
The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.
Do not fall into the error of the artisan who boasts of twenty years experience in his craft while in fact he has had only one year of experience – twenty times. And never resent the advantage of experience your elders have. Recall that they have paid for this experience in the coin of life and have emptied a purse that cannot be refilled.
We have infinite potential but finite time: you can’t do everything, but if you choose wisely, you can do any one thing you want.
The masters in all fields are foremost great self-manipulators, orchestrating their will to achieve what the rest of us can not.
I’m absolutely convinced we’ll see higher interest rates. Of course, I was convinced of that last year but rates went down. Bubbles always go longer than most people expect and higher than people expect. That’s the definition of a bubble. I have no idea how much longer it will last but I’m not playing.
Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy.
The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.
Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.
Clever man knows how to get out of a hole that a wise man would have avoided.
The age of the technocrats will give way to the age of politicians — and politicians, even in liberal democracies, exploit people’s emotions. That could lead to more erratic, nationalistic rulers.
Adapt quicker by listening more closely to your customers. Listening serves many purposes – it gives you a good reason to get in touch with many people, you learn a lot, and you demonstrate that you’re taking care of your customers. Help your customers succeed. Their success is your success.
Focus on customer loyalty & retention. Relationships are a priority always and you need the goodwill of customers & suppliers. Focus on “super-serving” your loyal core customers. Love them to bits & reward them for their continuing support.
The courts of England are open to anyone, just like the Ritz Hotel
Authenticity isn’t about a verticalized understanding of an industry, it’s about having a genuine narrative of why you’re pursuing a specific endeavor and what in your personal story can be leveraged to give you an unfair advantage for success.
Man. He sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.
It serves the interest of the investors who can come up with whatever valuation they want when there are no revenues. [When] there is no revenue, [and] there is no science, and it all just becomes finger in the wind valuations. V.C.’s can create this mark-to-mystery valuation because as long as there are no numbers, I can have whatever mark I want for an external valuation of a start-up
When the throne of God is overturned, the rebel realizes that it is now his own responsibility to create the justice, order, and unity that he sought in vain within his own condition, and in this way to justify the fall of God. Then begins the desperate effort to create, at the price of crime and murder if necessary, the dominion of man.
A quarterback doesn’t throw where the receiver is… he throws where the receiver will be.
Recognise that 100% safety is impossible, and also that terrorism is not an “existential threat” to our way of life. Respond to terrorism not with fear but with indomitability. Refuse to be terrorized.
As many problems as we have in the US, the USD is the world’s tallest midget. At least for the foreseeable future.
The authorities are doing what it takes to keep things together, but never more. So you actually need a continuing crisis to make what is politically impossible, possible
Manners are what vex or soothe, corrupt or purify, exalt or debase, barbarize or refine us, by a constant, steady uniform, insensible operation, like that of the air we breathe in.
Everyone thinks it’s an overnight success but it never is. I was at Apple from 2000 to 2011, but it wasn’t until 2004 that the iPod became an important part of people’s lives. It wasn’t until 2007 that Apple reinvented the phone. It wasn’t until 2009 that Apple launched the iPad. But we look at it today and we feel Apple had always been beloved. It took time and this will take time as well.
The time has come to stop trying to follow ideas that are aimed at making war more politically correct and politically palatable. That will never happen as wars are vicious and destructive.
Commanders issue orders and managers issue instructions.
I have yet to see a manager tell a worker to “give me 30 push-ups” if the worker has not complied with an instruction.
To distinguish between atrocities does not diminish the horror, but without clarity on these matters history recedes into myth and becomes a form of propaganda.
Do whatever you do best and continue to improve your lot in life, because more and more people will listen to you [whether we like it or note] the more successful you are. Our time will come.
If 23 guys go into the same room and hear the same presentation, only 3 or 4 of them are going to come out of there and understand what they heard and what they should do. It doesn’t matter what the presentation is about – politics, art, music, whatever.
I don’t see how you can invest in American steel without understanding what is going on in Malaysian palm oil…it is all part of a big, three-dimensional puzzle that is always changing.
Minimalism is not the lack of something,
it’s simply the perfect amount of something
Hope is not a feeling of certainty that everything ends well. Hope is just a feeling that life and work have meaning.
Better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy.
The future is dependent on those that push… not those that react.
You, too, may face some disappointing turns of your own—times when you fall short, knowing you could have done better. And when that happens, don’t give up or let your doubts get the best of you. I have met some very successful people in my day, men and women of talent and character who have risen to the very top of their fields. And it’s the rare one who hasn’t had a taste of failure or a false start along the way. Setbacks in life can stop you dead in your tracks or they can inspire you forward. Either way, you’ll look back on them as turning points. They are crucial days in your life when you see the starkest kind of choice and know that it belongs to you alone.
I needed a password with eight characters,
so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
Tradition is not a business model.
Stay hungry. Stay foolish.
Real artists ship
Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats
We have infinite potential but finite time: you can’t do everything, but if you choose wisely, you can do any one thing you want.
I have specs somewhere on my hard drive for products that, if we had actually created them, really could have been huge Internet companies. But it’s not the idea that matters, it’s the execution.
Some sites seem to deliberately hide address listings and phone numbers. Doing so will backfire, though, because users view such sites as having very low credibility.
Fireplaces, mentioned earlier, are popular because of how they look more so than how they function.
We reward conformance of mind, not independent thought, in our systems—from school to college to the work-place to the home—yet we wonder why so few are willing to take creative risks.
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back—Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves, too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.
By idolizing those whom we honor, we do a disservice both to them and to ourselves…we fail to recognize that we could go and do likewise.
Smart people believe weird things because they are better at rationalizing their beliefs that they hold for non-smart reasons
At the height of the British Empire, colonial subjects from the Raj to Malaya to the Caribbean modeled themselves in part on Englishmen: Nehru and Lee Kuan Yew went to Cambridge, Gandhi, to University College, London. Ho Chi Minh wrote in French for magazines in Paris. These days the world is full of businesspeople, bureaucrats, and scientists who have trained in the United States.
Real market players look at the CDS market, not ratings.
You should nearly always buy into panic just like you should sell hysteria
A person’s life does indeed flash before their eyes before they die. That process is called “living”.
Peace is what happens when you respect the rights of others.
If you’ve got the power to raise prices without losing business to a competitor, you’ve got a very good business. And if you have to have a prayer session before raising the price by 10 percent, then you’ve got a terrible business.
Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.
Seek not the paths of the ancients;
Seek that which the ancients sought.
Stop going for the easy buck and start producing something with your life.
Create, instead of living off the buying and selling of others.
Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, but petty power corrupts all out of proportion to absolute power.
Determining an optimal price for the things you company sells has little to do with math, formulas and complex calculations, and is based more on perception, convenience and competitive positioning.
You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.
Act as if someone is paying you $1000/hour for any activities that improve sales, and for everything else they’re paying you $10/hour. It’s accurate.
Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water;
After enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.
It seems that perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove.
Listen then speak; follow then lead.
Work by day, think by night.
Necessity gives you capacity.
No one ever waxes poetic over a cell phone charger.
If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.
But history makes fools of us all. We make deals with dictators, and reap the whirlwind of terrorism. We promote democracy, and watch Islamists gain power from Iraq to Palestine. We leap into humanitarian interventions, and get bloodied in Somalia. We stay out, and watch genocide engulf Rwanda. We intervene in Afghanistan and then depart, and watch the Taliban take over. We intervene in Afghanistan and stay, and end up trapped there, with no end in sight.
If everyone is responsible for everything, no one is responsible for anything.
The razor takes a flat blade and arches it under a metal shield, giving the blade both greater mechanical strength as well as a protective sheath that keeps you safe. It’s the kind of clear insight for which all designers and inventors strive: beauty in turning constraints into advantages.
Virtual Internships are basically like school or work, only with pretty graphics. But if people are willing to sink hours of their lives into digital farming, there’s no reason educators shouldn’t capitalize on the gamification paradox: how it is that boring things are seemingly less boring on the computer screen.
You can’t own success, you can only rent it.
It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.
Marketing tells a story that spreads. Sales overcomes the natural resistance to say yes. If you don’t pay the salesforce, who is going to do that for you? Easier said than done.
The market knows what it wants once it see it but at the same time it won’t pay for more than it needs. And that, my friends, is why they call folks like us enthusiasts.
The secret of life is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.
Taken on the whole, I would believe that Gandhi’s views were the most enlightened of all the political men of our time. We should strive to do things in his spirit: not to use violence for fighting for our cause, but by non-participation of anything you believe is evil.
The biggest mistake most new players make at poker is overplaying their hand. They spend so much time thinking of the ways they can win that they forget all the ways they can lose. Overplaying hands can affect even the most seasoned players, especially after they’ve won a couple of hands in a row.
Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you decide, as long as you decide quickly and take action. Consider standing in front of an oncoming train. Too much time considering alternatives can lead to disaster, as sometimes it’s the lack of a clear decision, regardless of which choice you would have made, that leads to failure.
Humans are not ‘tabula rasa’, yet fear of inequality, imperfectability, determinism and nihilism keep intellectual life locked into believing in the blank slate, the nobel savage, and the ghost in the machine.
The flying public sees flight attendants as ‘waitresses in the air’, yet airlines train flight attendants that priority one is safety, second is on-time performance, and lastly customer service. Thus begins a turbulent and antagonistic relationship.
Why think for yourself? When you have faith in fortune tellers, you can believe in a reality that has the unlimited potential to change with every new day. Remember, imagination is stronger than knowledge and dreams are more powerful than facts. Don’t clutter your mind with knowledge when you can live in the fortune tellers dream world.
The popularity of social media, may actually be isolated to international media observation from afar. We can now watch protest developments in real time, instead of after all the reports have been filed and printed in the next day’s newspaper or broadcast on the nightly news. Western perceptions are often easily swayed by English-speaking, media-savvy protestors who may be only a small fraction of a country’s population. This is further magnified in authoritarian countries where Western media have no choice but to turn to Twitter and YouTube to report on the crisis, thus increasing the perceived importance of social media.
A neo-Nazi skinhead posting from his mother’s basement in Illinois is not going to start a revolution in the United States, no matter how many Internet posts he makes or what he says. The climate must be ripe for revolution, due to problems like inflation, deflation, food shortages, corruption and oppression, and the population must be motivated to mobilize.
A sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Technology adds nothing to art. Two thousand years ago, I could tell you a story, and at any point during the story I could stop, and ask, Now, do you want the hero to be kidnapped, or not?
But that would, of course, have ruined the story. Part of the experience of being entertained is sitting back and plugging into someone else’s vision.
As our business grows, it becomes increasingly necessary to delegate responsibility and to encourage men and women to exercise their initiative. This requires considerable tolerance. Those men and women, to whom we delegate authority and responsibility, if they are good people, are going to want to do their jobs in their own way. Mistakes will be made. But if a person is essentially right, the mistakes he or she makes are not as serious in the long run as the mistakes management will make if it undertakes to tell those in authority exactly how they must do their jobs. Management that is destructively critical when mistakes are made kills initiative. And it’s essential that we have many people with initiative if we are to continue to grow.
Does anyone remember Nick Leeson, the “original” rogue trader? In 1995, he indulged in reckless derivative and arbitrage trading causing the collapse of Barings Bank by losing $1.4 Billion. He was sentenced to 6 years in prison and having served his sentence, he is now the CEO of an Irish football club. There are at least 2000 Nick Leesons in US, UK and Europe today going by the known magnitude of similar losses today ($ 3.0 Trillion). However, US, UK and Europe are not as clean as Singapore and hence the criminals are not being punished. In fact, they are being rewarded by giving them approximately the same amount of money all over again. So much for financial and political integrity in 2009……
In April 2009, despite 2.2% increase in consumer spending, the GDP went down by 6.1%. People who want to buy the stocks look at the first number and those who want to sell look at the second number. In stock market, there no pessimists or optimists, just opportunists.
On the India analogy. India has two things that China desperately needs: democracy and transparency. It’ll be very strange for the Western media to “misunderstand” China and be “hostile” toward her, if China happens to have either.
In India companies use loose networks for distribution. Instead of trying to open offices in every rural village in India, banks, telcos and other retailers find ways to partner with community groups and even each other to extend their reach. On one level western companies have gotten into trouble because they’ve been so focused on financial leverage. There’s a different kind of leverage that these Asian companies are pioneering: How do you connect with your customers without having to do it all yourself?
The proper words in the proper places are the true definition of style.
Poor nations are hungry, and rich nations are proud; and pride and hunger will ever be at variance.
In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.
So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
Four Irrefutable Security Laws:
1) users want to click on things
2) code wants to be wrong
3) services want to be on, and
4) security features can be used to harm.
Speed might be irrelevant if you are going in the wrong direction
Relentlessly asking the right questions is a long term career, mostly because no one ever knows the right answer on a regular basis.
An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.
You teach kids how to succeed when they successfully foil the educational system.
A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.
Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “Press On” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
You should beware the framing effects inherent in humans and that most people, when asked how much money they need to be satisfied, give an answer about 20% greater than whatever they have
By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the most bitter.
The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.