- 1 Alcorn, John
- 2 Anonymous
- 3 Astral Codex 10
- 5 Bayly, Joseph
- 6 Bayly, Timothy
- 7 The BBC
- 9 CANNON, William.
- 10 CHESTERTON, G. K.
- 11 Connolly, Gray
- 12 Cox, Sir David R.
- 14 Dawry, Travis
- 15 Dennett, Daniel
- 16 Dick, Philip K.
- 17 DIPLOCK, Lord
- 18 Domingos, Pedro
- 20 Enzensbergert
- 22 Feynman, Richard
- 23 Flanagan, Caitlin
- 24 Follows, Tracey
- 26 Gelman, Andrew
- 27 Genghis Khan
- 28 Goethe
- 29 GOLDMAN, Samuel.
- 30 Grant, Ulysses S.
- 32 Hippocrates
- 34 KASCHUTA, Alex
- 35 Kennedy, John F.
- 37 Lenin, Vladimir
- 38 LLoyd_Jones, Martyn
- 40 Machiavelli, Nicholas
- 41 Macaulay, Thomas
- 43 Napoleon Bonaparte
- 45 Paglia, Camille
- 46 Prince Philip
- 48 Ryle, J. C.
- 50 Schumpeter, Joseph
- 51 Shakespeare, William
- 52 Silverglate
- 53 Sowell, Thomas
- 54 Stalin, Joseph
- 55 Stout, Rex
- 57 TABARROK, Alex
- 58 Trotsky, Leon
- 60 Whyvert
- 62 Yglesias, Matthew
- 64 The Z-Man
- 65 Zhu, Yuanyi
“That’s my background and my question. I will now retreat to the background, and learn.” Very nicely phrased and useful.
A bear knows seven songs, and they are all about honey.
Economics is the study of how to get the most out of life.
Das Leben ist kein Ponyhof. (Life is not a pony farm.)
Men want women, but don’t need them. Women need men, but don’t want them.
The proverb appeared in Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, written in 1385. Later, George Herbert modified it this way: “Whose house is of glass, must not throw stones at another.” And in 1736, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Don’t throw stones at your neighbors, if your own windows are glass.” https://www.almanac.com/fact/where-did-the-saying-people-who-live
" `What is the sonne wers, of kinde righte,
Though that a man, for feblesse of his yen,
May nought endure on it to see for brighte?
Or love the wers, though wrecches on it cryen? 865
No wele is worth, that may no sorwe dryen.
And for-thy, who that hath an heed of verre,
Fro cast of stones war him in the werre!
Astral Codex 10
"You listed some funny facts about this disorder, but this disorder is really serious and killed my grandmother". I have a lot of trouble being serious, and this has served me well in getting people to read and enjoy things I write. But almost everything in medicine has killed at least one person's grandmother. :
---[https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/webmd-and-the-tragedy-of-legible WebMD, and the Tragedy of Legible Expertise "What does running a medical database teach you about why everything sucks?"]
"Criticism is the manure in which pastors grow best ." http://baylyblog.com/blog/2004/06/criticism-manure-which-pastors-grow-best
It’s often the case that particularities of our leadership can scandalize sheep who like to think of their pastors as perfect fathers, unlike their own. -- https://warhornmedia.com/2021/02/06/john-macarthur-his-wealthy-and-important-trustees-should-all-be-fired/
Commenters under these posts have noted the tendency of individual Christians to compare their own local pastors to national celebrities to the detriment of their trust of their local pastors. After all, the sins of their own pastors are obvious whereas the sins of their pastoral heroes are not. --https://warhornmedia.com/2021/02/06/john-macarthur-his-wealthy-and-important-trustees-should-all-be-fired/.
"1930: the BBC's news announcer said, "there is no news" and piano music was played for the remainder of the 15 minute segment." https://twitter.com/BBCArchive/status/1383693028213198850
1963 “Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking”
Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
CHESTERTON, G. K.
If our social conditions curtail manhood and womanhood, we must alter the social conditions. We must not go on quietly in a corner making men unmanly and women unwomanly, that they may fit into their filthy and slavish civilization.
Religious liberty might be supposed to mean that everybody is free to discuss religion. In practice it means that hardly anybody is allowed to mention it. --Autobiography
We are ruled by secret societies which have no names even among the initiate.
- Chesterton's Emancipation of Domesticity" essay on motherhood.
Slightly altered from his Twitter rules:
. 1. Please be polite and do not fight.
2. Do disagree, but do not swear, blaspheme, or abuse.
3. I write as if my late parents are reading, so please be respectful.
4. You always have control over how you conduct yourself.
5. A more civil society starts with you.
Cox, Sir David R.
From "Statistical Significance," David R. Cox, Annual Review of Statistics and Its Application, 7: 1-10 (2020):
To claim a result to be highly significant, or even just significant, sounds like enthusiastic endorsement, whereas to describe a result as insignificant is surely dismissive. To help avoid such misinterpretations, the qualified terms statistically significant or statistically insignificant should, at the risk of some tedium, always be used.
In spreadsheets you see the data but the code sits behind it.
In a programming language you see the code but the data sits behind it.
"“A scholar,” said Daniel Dennett in 1995, “is just a library’s way of making another library.”" (James Gleick, The Information)
Dick, Philip K.
“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”
After all, that is the beauty of the common law; it is a maze, not a motorway.
Morris v. C.W.Martin, 1 QB 716 (Diplock, L. J. , 1966). A bailment case.
An extremist is someone who thinks a moderate is an extremist of the opposite persuasion.
It's easy to forget that every cognitive bias is the flip side of a heuristic that works.
The goal of cancel culture is to cancel culture.
"Resentment of billionaires is rooted in our Neolithic minds' inability to intuitively understand that one person's positive impact on the world may be many orders of magnitude greater than another's."
So we belong to a class that neither controls nor owns what matters, the famous means of production, and it does not produce what also matters, the famous surplus value (or perhaps produces it only indirectly and incidentally . . . ).
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts."
The school is now so flush that its campus is a sort of Saks Fifth Avenue of Quakerism. Forget having Meeting in the smelly old gym. Now there is a meetinghouse of sumptuous plainness, created out of materials so good and simple and repurposed and expensive that surely only virtue and mercy will follow its benefactors all the days of their lives. The building’s citation by the American Institute of Architects notes that the interior is lined with “oak from long-unused Maryland barns” and the exterior is “clad with black locust harvested from a single source in New Jersey.”...
College admissions is one of the few situations in which rich people are forced to scramble for a scarce resource. What logic had led them to believe that it would help to antagonize the college counselors? Driven mad by the looming prospect of a Williams rejection, they had lost all reason...
These aren’t parents in the public-school system; they are consumers of a luxury product. If they are unhappy, they won’t just write anonymous letters. They’ll let the school know the old-fashioned way: by cutting down on their donations. Money is how rich people express their deepest feelings...
Many schools for the richest American kids have gates and security guards; the message is you are precious to us. Many schools for the poorest kids have metal detectors and police officers; the message is you are a threat to us. --https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/04/private-schools-are-indefensible/618078/, The Atlantic (2021).
“In China you have a State-run media, in the US you have a media-run State”
"Theoretical Statistics is the Theory of Applied Statistics"
This is disputed. I take this from Wikiquote's article at https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Genghis_Khan:
[What, in all the world, could bring the greatest happiness?] "The open steppe, a clear day, and a swift horse under you," responded the officer after a little thought, "and a falcon on your wrist to start up hares." "Nay," responded the Khan, "to crush your enemies, to see them fall at your feet — to take their horses and goods and hear the lamentation of their women. That is best." As quoted in Genghis Khan: The Emperor of All Men (1927) by Harold Lamb, Doubleday, p. 107.
Ich bin der Geist der stets verneint.
"I am the spirit that always denies, or negates." Faust part I.
@SWGoldman, January 8, 2021:
A lot of people who thought they were part of the con now discovering that they were the marks. Which is exactly how a con works.
Grant, Ulysses S.
As we approached the brow of the hill from which it was expected we could see Harris' camp, and possibly find his men ready formed to meet us, my heart kept getting higher and higher until it felt to me as though it was in my throat. I would have given anything then to have been back in Illinois, but I had not the moral courage to halt and consider what to do; I kept right on. When we reached a point from which the valley below was in full view I halted. The place where Harris had been encamped a few days before was still there and the marks of a recent encampment were plainly visible, but the troops were gone. My heart resumed its place. It occurred to me at once that Harris had been as much afraid of me as I had been of him. This was a view of the question I had never taken before; but it was one I never forgot afterwards. From that event to the close of the war, I never experienced trepidation upon confronting an enemy, though I always felt more or less anxiety. I never forgot that he had as much reason to fear my forces as I had his. The lesson was valuable.
U.S. Grant, autobiography, on the Battle of Belmont, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/4367/4367-h/4367-h.htm#ch20.
Harington, John. Epigrams, Book iv, Epistle 5.
Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.
Compare: "Prosperum ac felix scelus/ Virtus vocatur" ("Successful and fortunate crime/ is called virtue"), Seneca, Herc. Furens, ii. 250.
"There are ticks in woods now." Why did God create ticks? Perhaps the tick will be justified some day like the flea, by a poem. Ars longa, vita brevis. With a zero discount rate, a good poem justifies even the Black Death. https://buff.ly/3dpjpHE 10:29 AM · Apr 18, 2021·Buffer View Tweet activity 1
Professor Eric Rasmusen @erasmuse · 2m Replying to @erasmuse I rightly used "Ars longa, vita brevis",to digress, but it has multiple meanings, like a Chinese poem. One is "Art lasts forever, but life is brief." Ars longa, vita brevis - Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org
Professor Eric Rasmusen @erasmuse · 1m The original, in Greek, is "There's a lot of technique, but only a short life to learn it in", which I at 62 appreciate.
[https://alexkaschuta.substack.com/p/observing-the-empire-from-afar%7C Observing the empire from afar. Three decades' worth of America-gazing from one of its long forgotten provinces, Romania ] (2020):
The average Romanian knows the following about Americans:
- They are stupid and uncultured, though they somehow also have the best universities and lead the world in scientific research.
- They are fat and lethargic, but their work ethic is second to none, and they never take vacations.
- They have guns, though they shouldn't, though they probably should because criminality is very high.
- The evils that befall them was caused by something terrible they did, either now or in the past, though it would have been great to have them “conquer” us just once.
* It's hard to emigrate there, but it shouldn't be, because it's also highly desirable, being the "land of opportunity."
[https://alexkaschuta.substack.com/p/observing-the-empire-from-afar%7C Observing the empire from afar.
Three decades' worth of America-gazing from one of its long forgotten provinces, Romania ] (2020):
The American paradox may have a simple solution: America is the only country to have generated so much excess it now exports its own self-loathing, in industrial quantities, 24/7.
If you make someone "Homelessness Czar" their job is to preside over homelessness, not eliminate it.
Kennedy, John F.
“I never met a man like this,” Kennedy remarked to another reporter, Hugh Sidey of Time magazine. “[I] talked about how a nuclear exchange would kill 70 million people in 10 minutes, and he just looked at me as if to say, ‘So what?’” -- https://www.history.com/news/kennedy-krushchev-vienna-summit-meeting-1961
He did not originate this quote. I have a separate page on it: "The Worse, the Better."
I spend half my time telling Christians to study doctrine, and the other half telling them doctrine is not enough.
“Prudent archers...set their aim much higher than the place intended, not to reach such a height with their arrow, but to be able with the aid of so high an aim achieve their plan."
--Book IV of The Prince
From The History of England, Volume I, chapter 2:
It is creditable to Charles's temper that, ill as he thought of his species, he never became a misanthrope. He saw little in men but what was hateful. Yet he did not hate them. Nay, he was so far humane that it was highly disagreeable to him to see their sufferings or to hear their complaints. This, however, is a sort of humanity which, though amiable and laudable in a private man whose power to help or hurt is bounded by a narrow circle, has in princes often been rather a vice than a virtue. More than one well disposed ruler has given up whole provinces to rapine and oppression, merely from a wish to see none but happy faces round his own board and in his own walks. No man is fit to govern great societies who hesitates about disobliging the few who have access to him, for the sake of the many whom he will never see. The facility of Charles was such as has perhaps never been found in any man of equal sense. He was a slave without being a dupe. Worthless men and women, to the very bottom of whose hearts he saw, and whom he knew to be destitute of affection for him and undeserving of his confidence, could easily wheedle him out of titles, places, domains, state secrets and pardons. He bestowed much; yet he neither enjoyed the pleasure nor acquired the fame of beneficence. He never gave spontaneously; but it was painful to him to refuse. The consequence was that his bounty generally went, not to those who deserved it best, nor even to those whom he liked best, but to the most shameless and importunate suitor who could obtain an audience.
what Napoleon said when asked how he came to be Emperor: “I came across the crown of France lying in the street, and I picked it up with my sword.”
There is no female Mozart because there is no female Jack the Ripper. --https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/the-best-sentence-i-heard-today/
7. “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?” Asked of a Scottish driving instructor in 1995.
8. “Damn fool question!” To BBC journalist Caroline Wyatt at a banquet at the Elysée Palace after she asked Queen Elizabeth if she was enjoying her stay in Paris in 2006.
11. “We don’t come here for our health. We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves.” During a trip to Canada in 1976.
16. “It’s a vast waste of space.” Philip entertained guests in 2000 at the reception of a new £18m British Embassy in Berlin, which the Queen had just opened.
18. “If it has four legs and it is not a chair, if it has got two wings and it flies but is not an aeroplane and if it swims and it is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it.” Said to a World Wildlife Fund meeting in 1986.
22. “I would like to go to Russia very much – although the bastards murdered half my family.” In 1967, asked if he would like to visit the Soviet Union.
25. “The problem with London is the tourists. They cause the congestion. If we could just stop the tourism, we could stop the congestion.” At the opening of City Hall in 2002.
28. “You must be out of your minds.” To Solomon Islanders, on being told that their population growth was 5 per cent a year, in 1982.
30. “Your country is one of the most notorious centres of trading in endangered species.” Accepting a conservation award in Thailand in 1991.
39. “I wish he’d turn the microphone off!” The Prince expresses his opinion of Elton John’s performance at the 73rd Royal Variety Show, 2001.
51. “Any bloody fool can lay a wreath at the thingamy.” Discussing his role in an interview with Jeremy Paxman.
59. “It’s not a very big one, but at least it’s dead and it took an awful lot of killing!” Speaking about a crocodile he shot in Gambia in 1957.
71. “It is my invariable custom to say something flattering to begin with so that I shall be excused if by any chance I put my foot in it later on.” Full marks for honesty, from a speech in 1956. https://www.unz.com/isteve/prince-philip-rip/
Ryle, J. C.
"A true Christian is one who has not only peace of conscience, but war within. He may be known by his warfare as well as by his peace.”
See the Schumpeter page.
See the Shakespeare page.
If you’re going to do any kind of important (therefore controversial) work, you can really only care about what approximately 10 people in the world think about you. Choose those people carefully.
(Roughly. I’m sure he said it better)
"We seem to be getting closer and closer to a situation where nobody is responsible for what they did but we are all responsible for what somebody else did."
“A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.”
“Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything.”
“Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.”
“When there’s a person, there’s a problem. When there’s no person, there’s no problem.”
“Quantity has a quality all its own.”
“The Pope! How many divisions has he got?”
“In the Soviet army it takes more courage to retreat than advance.”
"On the way uptown in the roadster, I reflected that there was one obvious lever to use on Helen Frost to pry her in the direction I wanted her; and I'm a great one for the obvious, because it saves a lot of fiddling around. I decided to use it." Rex Stout, The Red Box, Chapter 7 (1937) (Nero Wolfe mystery)
A price increase is a message about scarcity. Price controls are like shooting the messenger." quoted in May 5, 2008 issue of Forbes.
You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.
The Age of Science draws to a close; there dawns the Age of Silence. --https://twitter.com/whyvert/status/1359273098663575560
There are big tranches of the world where people do redefinitions and treat that as doing analysis. April 8 tweet.
"For the American ruling class, society is just a Walmart in the middle of a ghetto riot. The winner is the one who manages to carry off the most stuff before the store burns down." https://www.takimag.com/article/the-politics-of-smash-and-grab/
War and Peace is a byword for hard highbrow literature, but if you think about it it's basically a long adventure novel with lots of explosions.-- @yuanyi_z