Archive for the 'Quotes' Category

Quote of the Day

[link] Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

“The lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience … “.

Aldous Huxley, writing to George Orwell in 1949.

Quote of the Day

[link] Saturday, January 31st, 2015

“Advice is what we ask for when we know the answer but wish we didn’t.”

Erica Jong

Quote of the Day

[link] Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

“What liberal values have going for them is liberty and value.”

Adam Gopnik, writing in the New Yorker about Michel Houellebecq’s Francophobia.

It’s a terrific piece, well worth reading in full. Contains this delightful paragraph:

In the novel that made Houellebecq famous, “Les Particules Élémentaires” (1998), he proposed that a society with an unchecked devotion to economic liberalism and erotic libertinism would come to a daylong oscillation between fucking and finance, where bankers would literally break their backs in the act of having sex for the hundredth time that day. The satire seemed ridiculously heavy-handed and overwrought—and then came Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, who, in the brief time before dining with his daughter and boarding a plane, turned out to have budgeted fifteen minutes for sex (coerced or not) with a total stranger. D.S.K. was a character only Houellebecq could have imagined, and already had.

Yeah: and he might have been President of France today if he hadn’t slipped up in New York.

Quote of the Day

[link] Sunday, January 4th, 2015

“The novel’s not dead; it’s not even seriously injured”.

Don DeLillo, Paris Review

Quote of the Day

[link] Thursday, December 25th, 2014

A journalist once remarked that Harold Wilson’s sons had become a head teacher and a professor of education (in fact, a distinguished mathematician). ‘Well, I certainly hope my children do better than that,’ Blair retorted.


Tells you everything you need to know about New Labour, really.

Quote of the Day

[link] Sunday, December 21st, 2014

“When I get asked in interviews to predict the future, I always have to struggle to come up with something plausible-sounding on the fly, like a student who hasn’t prepared for an exam. 1 But it’s not out of laziness that I haven’t prepared. It seems to me that beliefs about the future are so rarely correct that they usually aren’t worth the extra rigidity they impose, and that the best strategy is simply to be aggressively open-minded. Instead of trying to point yourself in the right direction, admit you have no idea what the right direction is, and try instead to be super sensitive to the winds of change.”


“Another trick I’ve found to protect myself against obsolete beliefs is to focus initially on people rather than ideas. Though the nature of future discoveries is hard to predict, I’ve found I can predict quite well what sort of people will make them. Good new ideas come from earnest, energetic, independent-minded people.

Betting on people over ideas saved me countless times as an investor. We thought Airbnb was a bad idea, for example. But we could tell the founders were earnest, energetic, and independent-minded. (Indeed, almost pathologically so.) So we suspended disbelief and funded them.”

Paul Graham

Quote of the day

[link] Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

“Man is born free, but he is everywhere in cubicles.”

Nikil Saval, author of an interesting book on the history of workplace design.

Quote of the Day

[link] Thursday, November 13th, 2014

“It’s better to be wrong but interesting than right but dull.”

Chris Dillow quoted here

Quote of the Day

[link] Sunday, November 9th, 2014

“The character we exhibit in the latter half of our life need not necessarily be, though it often is, our original character, developed further, dried up, exaggerated, or diminished. It can be its exact opposite, like a suit worn inside out.”

Marcel Proust

Quote of the Day

[link] Saturday, November 8th, 2014

“Politics determines who has the power, not who has the truth.”

Paul Krugman