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  • The Hillary defense:
I didn’t do it.
You can’t prove it.
Everybody does it.
He did it.
You're just a racist.
It's old news.
What difference, at this point, does it make?
  • The Russian Teapot defense:
It isn’t broken
If it is broken, I didn’t do it
If I did do it, it was no good anyway
  • A canon of legal interpretation: "Specialia generalibus non derogant". Special things don't derogate from the general rule.
  • “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” (Original: "Quand l'ennemi fait un faux mouvement , il faut se garder de l'interrompre", "When the enemy makes a false move, take care not to interrupt him." as written by Jomini (1827).
  • When everything works fine, they wonder why they hired you. When everything stops working, they wonder why they hired you.
I.T. in a nutshell.
  • “I don't drink, or cuss, or chew; and I don't go out with girls that do.”
  • Twitter: "It is Monday, my dudes. Whatsoever the Lord hath given you to accomplish today, crush it."
  • "The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth".
  • Twitter: "i had no idea learning programming was such an emotional experience. like half of the process is managing rapidly alternating between feeling like im the lord almighty here to graciously gift my genius to mankind, and wanting to pour my coffee into my keyboard and die."
  • "Traditions exist so we don’t have to talk about what’s right, we just do it." Twitter (2022).
  • "Victory has a hundred fathers, but defeat is an orphan" is a slightly improved version of John F. Kennedy's "Victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan,"as quoted in A Thousand Days : John F. Kennedy in the White House (1965, 2002 edition), by Arthur Schlesinger, p. 262; also in The Quote Verifier (2006) by Ralph Keyes, p. 234 http://books.google.com/books?id=McO2Co4Ih98C&pg=PA234).

The exact wording used by Kennedy (a hundred, not a thousand) had appeared in the 1951 film The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel, as reported in Safire's New Political Dictionary (1993) by William Safire, pp 841–842). The earliest known occurrence is Galeazzo Ciano, Diary 1937-1943, entry for 9 September 1942 ("La victoria trova cento padri, e nessuno vuole riconoscere l'insuccesso.") ("Victory finds a hundred fathers, but nobody wants to recognize defeat"), but the earliest known occurrence on such a theme is in Tacitus's : Agricola Book 1 at paragraph 27 http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/tac/ag01020.htm: “Iniquissima haec bellorum condicio est: prospera omnes sibi vindicant, adversa uni imputantur.” (It is the singularly unfair peculiarity of war that the credit of success is claimed by all, while a disaster is attributed to one alone.) https://quotepark.com/pl/cytaty/1377945-john-f-kennedy-victory-has-a-hundred-fathers-and-defeat-is-an-orp/

  • "Why own a sailboat? It's easier to turn your shower's cold water on and stand there tearing up $20 bills as fast as you can." and “Owning a yacht is like owning a stack of 10 Van Goghs and holding them over your head as you tread water, trying to keep them dry.” https://www.ft.com/content/5263810a-c4d3-4380-a38e-3a78df99a788
  • "Quantity has a quality all of its own. "
  • "All of mathematics is taught like someone explaining the rules of a board game that you're not playing yet." (Twitter, 2022)
  • "It’s obvious to me why people like him avoid humor. You can pretend to be serious. You can’t pretend to be witty."
  • "Be friendly to everyone. But have a plan to kill them.’ — attributed to an unidentified Secret Service agent.
  • Wikipedia says: "Verba volant, scripta manent is a Latin proverb. Literally translated, it means "spoken words fly away, written words remain".This proverb originates from a speech of senator Caius Titus to the Roman Senate;" "Verba volant, scripta manent."
  • "Disappointent, or His_appointment"?
  • There is a certain type of social insecurity, shyness, modesty that actually conceals exaggerated egocentrism: people secretly believe the world revolves around them, everyone is paying attention to them and their actions, constantly judging and criticizing the smallest details.

The first gulp of the glass of science makes you atheist, but at the bottom is always God.

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!

I remember my days in DC. I don’t think the women had any plan.

It’s like when they work in an office: no real strategy for getting promoted, taking charge. They wait thinking some gent will just say “it’s your turn!” and anything they want—marriage, promotion, whatever—just happens.

Women will always and forever rely on men.

"The tactic is by now obvious:

1. Make topic taboo.

2. Normal people shy away from it.

3. Topic mostly discussed by weirdos and edgy people.

4. Point out how suspicious it is that everybody who talks about topic is a weirdo or edgy."


Adams, Scott

Twitter May 12, 2021: "Some of the worst advice ever given:

1. Be yourself (total loser philosophy)

2. Follow the science (as if you could)

3. Pursue your passion (no one pays you for having fun)"

  • Twitter, October 4, 2022:"Elon Musk took control of the Ukraine/Russia endgame by writing the first draft in bullet form and drawing all attention to it.
You just learned one of the most powerful persuasion techniques in the modern world: Write the first draft and keep it simple."
  • I’m not worried about climate change because any species that can predict the average temperature a hundred years in advance won’t have trouble handling it.

Alcorn, John

“That’s my background and my question. I will now retreat to the background, and learn.” Very nicely phrased and useful.

Andreessen, Mark

  • "The most serious problem facing any organization is the one that cannot be discussed." Twitter, 2022.
  • Whitepill #14: Every day, two lists get longer: The things you believe but can't say, and the things you don't believe but must say. (Twitter, 2022)

Arreeda, Philip

From "The Uneasy Case for Copyright: A Look Back Across Four Decades," Stephen G. Breyer: “Do not tell the class you are talking economics. Anyone who does not understand economics and applies it in antitrust is not properly teaching the course. But anyone who lets the class know that they’re talking economics is not a law school professor.”


  • "Some people will not accept the statements of a speaker unless he gives a mathematical proof; others will not unless he makes use of illustrations; others expect to have a poet adduced as witness. Again, some require exactness in everything, while others are annoyed by it, either because they cannot follow the reasoning or because of its pettiness; for there is something about exactness which seems to some people to be mean, no less in an argument than in a business transaction." Metaphysics 995a

ARROW, Kenneth

From a blog post quoting Sandel JPE 2013, the original being Arrow 1972. “Gifts and Exchanges.” Philosophy and Public Affairs 1(4): 343 – 62.

“Like many economists,” Arrow (1972, pp. 354–55) writes, “I do not want to rely too heavily on substituting ethics for self-interest. I think it best on the whole that the requirement of ethical behavior be confined to those circumstances where the price system breaks down . . . We do not wish to use up recklessly the scarce resources of altruistic motivation.”

Asimov, Isaac

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.” ― Isaac Asimov

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?"]

The problem for artists is not that popular culture is so bad but that it is so good, at least some of the time. Art could no longer confer prestige by the rarity or excellence of the works themselves, so it had to confer it by the rarity of the powers of appreciation. --https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/highlights-from-the-comments-on-modern

Bankman-Fried, Sam

“...this dumb game we woke westerners play where we say all the right shiboleths and so everyone likes us.” -- "Sam Bankman-Fried tries to explain himself: The fallen crypto CEO on what went wrong, why he did what he did, and what lies he told along the way," Vox, Kelsey Piper (Nov. 16, 2022).

Bayly, Joseph

"Criticism is the manure in which pastors grow best ." http://baylyblog.com/blog/2004/06/criticism-manure-which-pastors-grow-best

Bayly, Timothy

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

Berlin, Isaiah

"“eggs are broken, but the omelette is not in sight, there is only an infinite number of eggs, human lives, ready for the breaking. And in the end the passionate idealists forget the omelette, and just go on breaking eggs.”

Blackwell, David

Basically, I’m not interested in doing research and I never have been....I’m interested in understanding, which is quite a different thing. And often to understand something you have to work it out yourself because no one else has done it. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Blackwell#cite_note-NYT-Grime-2007-07-17-11)

Bowles, Michael

“Construction is a matter of backing yourself into a corner and then fighting your way out.”

Bukowski, Charles

  • “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts and the stupid ones are full of confidence.”

Burke, Edmund

  • “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents” (1770).
  • "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Misattributed. See Quote Investigator.

Butler, Samuel (1613-1680)

He that complies against his Will,
Is of his own Opinion still.
(from Hudibras)

CANNON, William.

1963 “Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking”

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

Carville, James

  • “I used to think if there was reincarnation, I wanted to come back as the president or the pope or a .400 baseball hitter. But now I want to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.”

Chesterton, G. K.

  • "Chesterton's Fence", 1929 book, The Thing, “The Drift from Domesticity”:

“In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, ‘I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.’ To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.”

In Robert Bolt’s “A Man for All Seasons” Sir Thomas More uses a similar argument to challenge his reformist son-in-law. Robert Frost comes to the same conclusion in “Mending Wall.”
  • A man can pretend to be wise; a man cannot pretend to be witty.
  • "If you will not have rules, you will have rulers."
  • "People generally quarrel because they cannot argue. And it is extraordinary to notice how few people in the modern world can argue. This is why there are so many quarrels, breaking out again and again, and never coming to any natural end."

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.

My own political philosophy is very plain and humble; I can trust the uneducated, but not the badly educated.


Here's how neo-Marxism works:

1) pick a variable. For Marx it was labor. For Nietzsche, will to power. For Kendi, it's race.

2) divide the population by this variable

3) blame one side as oppressor, the other as oppressed

4) feign oppression to wield the mob of the oppressed --Twitter (2021)

Churchill Winston

‘Most of the world’s work is done by people who are not feeling very well.’


“Poor is the people that has no heroes, but poorer still is the people that, having heroes, fails to remember and honour them.”

Connolly, Gray

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.

Covey, Stephen

  • "If you want to get something done, give it to a busy man."

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.

Crawford, Jason

Most people don't read → if you read books at all, you are more educated than most

Even among those who read, most haven't read a book on X. If you read one book on X, you know more about it than the vast majority

Read 2–3 books on one topic, and you're practically an expert. [--Twitter, 2021]

Dawry, Travis


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.


“You can’t wait for someone to send you good material. Your first job as an editor is to find writers. Your second job is to tell them what to write. You’d be surprised, the best writers often don’t know what needs to be written. A good editor does.”

“If you feel like the content is going flat, pick a fight. That always brings life to a magazine of ideas.” (from Reno article in First THings, 2022)

Dennett, Daniel

"“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.

Domingos, Pedro

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."


"It takes more than just intelligence to act intelligently."

Eckel, Catherine

"It's time to invent time-bankruptcy. I owe so many people so many things, and everyone is mad at me. I declare bankruptcy! Let the courts sort it out."


"Tolerance in America is largely tied to capitalism. When people are working together to make money, they can put aside many differences. Socialism, on the other hand, leads to intolerance as different factions compete for state resources." Twitter (2022)

Faulkner, William

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

Feynman, Richard

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts."


  • "Most truth is grasped as a sort of sudden insight. Writing it down is always a problem b/c it only approximates the discovery. And then the written word becomes the plaything of lesser intellects, who tie themselves in knots trying to explicate it. And therein lies most academia." (2021, Twitter)
  • "From an anthropological perspective, the Antifa phenomenon is quite useful. Can’t remember another time when Nietzsche’s concept of slave morality raging against the beautiful was more openly on display." (2021, Twitter)

Flanagan, Caitlin

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).

Follows, Tracey



“In China you have a State-run media, in the US you have a media-run State”

Foster, Michael

If a positive comment about men triggers you, you’re seriously twisted.

When women hold power in a church—whether officially or unofficially—two things tend to happen:

1. They strive to include anyone agreeable, regardless of error;

2. They strive to exclude anyone disagreeable, regardless of orthodoxy.

This a great question: "Is it a general occurrence that if you ask your wife how her day was that she will go into every little possible detail about what she did, what she talked to other people about, and what happened but never actually tell you how her day was?"

My reply:

That's how a normal woman tells you how her day was. The description is the conclusion, which to a man seems like a joke w/o a punchline. She took you on her journey & in doing so she thinks you feel what she felt as she went thru it. Therefore, she thinks you'll just get it.

Franco, Francisco

The great weakness of modern states lies in their lack of doctrinal content, in having renounced a firm concept of man, life, and history. The major error of liberalism is in its negation of any permanent category of truth—its absolute and radical relativism—an error that, in a different form, was apparent in those other European currents that made ‘action’ their only demand and the supreme norm of their conduct [i.e., Communism and National Socialism]. . . . When the juridicial order does not proceed from a system of principles, ideas, and values recognized as superior and prior to the state, it ends in an omnipotent juridicial voluntarism, whether its primary organ be the so-called majority, purely numerical and inorganically expressed, or the supreme organs of power.

Frizzell, David

From the song, "I'm gonna' hire a wino to decorate our home":

She said: "I'm gonna' hire a wino to decorate our home,
"So you'll feel more at ease here, and you won't have to roam.
"We'll take out the dining room table, and put a bar along that wall.
"And a neon sign, to point the way, to our bathroom down the hall."

Fuentes, Carlos

"There are years when nothing happens and years in which centuries happen." This is wrongly attributed to Lenin. Marx had the idea, and better. See quote investigator

Gelman, Andrew

  • "Theoretical Statistics is the Theory of Applied Statistics"

  • Econ is econ and is special in its own way, but Sturgeon’s law applies universally. Most published statistics articles are completely irrelevant to the world, even to whatever application area they are nominally targeting. Bad statistics articles are irritating in a different way than bad econ articles, which in turn are a different sort of irritating than bad poli sci or sociology articles. It’s an interesting thought: we tend to compare different fields based on the different characteristics of their best work, but another dimension is to compare the different characteristics of crappy but well-respected work in each field.


The journal in question is called The Economic Journal. To add insult to injury, the editor wrote the following when announcing they wouldn’t publish the letter:

My [the editor’s] assessment is that this paper is a better fit for a field journal in education.

OK, let me get this straight. The original paper, which was seriously flawed, was ok for Mister Big Shot Journal. But a letter pointing out those flaws . . . that’s just good enough for a Little Baby Field Journal.

Genghis Khan

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.

Gibbon, Edward

  • Decline and Fall, Ch. 21, part 5:

If the emperor had capriciously decreed the death of the most eminent and virtuous citizen of the republic, the cruel order would have been executed without hesitation, by the ministers of open violence or of specious injustice. The caution, the delay, the difficulty with which he proceeded in the condemnation and punishment of a popular bishop, discovered to the world that the privileges of the church had already revived a sense of order and freedom in the Roman government.

They held in their lifeless hands the riches of their fathers, without inheriting the spirit which had created and improved that sacred patrimony: they read, they praised, they compiled, but their languid souls seemed alike incapable of thought and action. In the revolution of ten centuries, not a single discovery was made to exalt the dignity or promote the happiness of mankind. Not a single idea has been added to the speculative systems of antiquity, and a succession of patient disciples became in their turn the dogmatic teachers of the next servile generation. Not a single composition of history, philosophy, or literature, has been saved from oblivion by the intrinsic beauties of style or sentiment, of original fancy, or even of successful imitation. ...m, a panegyric or tale; they forgot even the rules of prosody; and with the melody of Homer yet sounding in their ears, they confound all measure of feet and syllables in the impotent strains which have received the name of political or city verses. The minds of the Greek were bound in the fetters of a base and imperious superstition which extends her dominion round the circle of profane science. Their understandings were bewildered in metaphysical controversy: in the belief of visions and miracles, they had lost all principles of moral evidence, and their taste was vitiated by the homilies of the monks, an absurd medley of declamation and Scripture. Even these contemptible studies were no longer dignified by the abuse of superior talents: the leaders of the Greek church were humbly content to admire and copy the oracles of antiquity, nor did the schools of pulpit produce any rivals of the fame of Athanasius and Chrysostom.

Glaeser, Edward

An Ed Glaeser aphorism just now from his Markus seminar, improved a bit:

"It's not Trust in Authorities: it’s the Trustworthiness of Authorities, that matters. A good government nobody trusts is better than a bad government *everybody* trusts."

Glantz, David (reported by)

“Germans needed to reduce their casualties “if we do not intend to win ourselves to death.” ― David M. Glantz, When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler, p. 73.



Ich bin der Geist der stets verneint.

"I am the spirit that always denies, or negates." Faust part I.

GOLDMAN, Samuel.

@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.

Golub, Ben

An underappreciated reason to keep economic theory programs vigorous and strong is that a LOT of the best scholars in other fields started out wanting to do theory. Like, a lot of amazing people. The prospect of doing theory is like a honeypot for a certain kind of curious, high-powered person, who can then be redirected more productively. (Twitter, 2021)

GORDON, Leslie McAdoo

"He keeps digressing, and there are digressions from the digressions, which he digresses from to digress." On Twitter, about a boring prosecutor during a sentencing hearing.

Gracian, Balthasar

  • “It is better to sleep on things beforehand than lie awake about them afterward.”
  • “Never contend with a man who has nothing to lose.”

Graham, Paul

  • "While helping 12 yo prepare for exams, I've also been teaching him what's real knowledge and what isn't. E.g. how distillation works is real knowledge. The fact that the thing that gets dissolved in a solution is called the solute isn't." (Twitter, 2021)
  • "One advantage companies that are still run by their founders have over other companies is that founders have the confidence to be unconventional. Employees worry they'll get in trouble if they do things differently. Founders don't." (Twitter, 2022)
  • "Nonprofits that can't show what effect they have are showing what effect they have." (Twitter, 2022)

"Taking classes in "entrepreneurship" in college to learn how to innovate is like going to the Louvre and spending your time looking at the floor." (as improved by me, Twitter, 2022)

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.

Gude, Hans

"You, my compatriots in Norway, have no grounds for complaining that we have forgotten the dear, familiar and specific character with which God has endowed our land and our nation. That is so firmly entrenched in our being that it finds expression, whether we like it or not. Do not, therefore, insult us further."

Haeckel, Ernst

Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.

Hanson, Robin

Biggest trend in my world over the last 50yrs:

50 yrs ago, intellectuals were top prestige; journalists, judges, activists, inventors, etc aspired to be that.
Today, activists are top prestige; intellectuals, journalists, judges, inventors, etc aspire to be that.

twitter, 2021.

Harpending, Henry

"Henry’s Buffalo," West Hunter blog:

We were up late around the fire as all the participants took turns telling the story of the day. Of course everyone told the same story, since there was only one, but somehow we were all attentive to each new version.

Harrington, 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.

Haywood, Charles

From a 2018 book review at Worthy House:

Such men lack consistency, because they simply don’t have the intellectual horsepower to maintain it, while they quickly and without noticing contradict themselves if it’s needed to get shiny baubles such as the praise of those they realize to be their intellectual or social betters.

Rob Henderson

“Many have discovered an argument hack. They don’t need to argue that something is false. They just need to show that it’s associated with low status.” https://quillette.com/2021/04/03/persuasion-and-the-prestige-paradox-are-high-status-people-more-likely-to-lie/

  • "Men bond by insulting each other and not really meaning it; women bond by complimenting each other and not really meaning it."


"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

Professor Eric Rasmusen 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 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.

The Incredibles (movie)

"The Incredibles- If Everyone Is Special, No One Is," Lessons from the Mouse blog (2017).:

On the car ride home, Dash says “Our powers make us special,” to which Helen (Mrs. Incredible) says, “Everyone is special, Dash”. Dash retorts back to her, “Which is another way of saying that no one is.” This is not just the opinion of a frustrated little boy, he is parroting the frustrations of his father who later on is arguing that a 4th grade graduation ceremony is silly (in his words, psychotic) because, “They keep celebrating new ways to celebrate mediocrity, but if someone is genuinely exceptional, they shut him down because they don’t want everyone else to feel back!” And lastly, this theme comes to a head when Syndrome is planning on giving everyone superpowers with his tech and claiming, “When everyone is super, no one will be.” ... Not everyone is special, understand, everyone is important, everyone is valid, and everyone is even significant, but not everyone is special.

Karlin, George

  • "I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a lot more as they get older, and then it dawned on me — they’re cramming for their final exam."
  • "Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid."
  • "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that."
  • "Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body."
  • "When fascism comes to America, it will not be in brown and black shirts. It will not be with jack-boots. It will be Nike sneakers and Smiley shirts."
  • "I have as much authority as the Pope. I just don’t have as many people who believe it."


[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."

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.

Keller, Timothy

  • "A possible way to start a conversation with someone who is not a believer:

'Tell me the God you don't believe in because chances are I don't believe in that God either.' "

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

KERR, Clark

Clark Kerr characterized his “multiversity” as “a series of individual faculty entrepreneurs held together by a common grievance over parking.”

KING, Martin Luther

"It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important." The Wall Street Journal (13 November 1962).

Krauss, Lawrence

Instead of a theory of everything, string theory is a theory of anything, which means it's a theory of nothing.


(1) “Die ganzen Zahlen hat der liebe Gott gemacht, alles andere ist Menschenwerk”
(2) “God made the integers; all else is the work of man.”
(3) “The Dear God made the integers; all else is the work of man.”

in einem schriftlich nicht überlieferten Vortrag bei der Berliner Naturforscher-Versammlung 1886, zitiert bei H.[einrich] Weber: Leopold Kronecker, in: Jahresbericht der Deutschen Mathematiker-Vereinigung 2, 1893, S. 19 http://gdz.sub.uni-goettingen.de/dms/load/img/?PID=PPN37721857X_0002%7CLOG_0006&physid=PHYS_0025%20Seite%2019 drittletzter Absatz doi: 10.1007/BF01446613. Also in : Mathematische Annalen, 1893, Band 43, S. 15, 3. und 4. Zeile Zugeschrieben

Quelle: https://beruhmte-zitate.de/zitate/138167-leopold-kronecker-die-ganzen-zahlen-hat-der-liebe-gott-gemacht-alle/

Version (1) is the original. Version (3) is the more accurate translation. Version (2) sounds better than either (1) or (3). The "ganzen Zahlen" are the integers, not the natural numbers, German Wikipedia says. "der liebe Gott" is "the Dear God". (Thanks to Christian Matthes for finding this for me via my Twitter request)

Laughlin, Robert

"In science, you gain power by telling people what you know; in engineering, by preventing them from knowing it."

Lenin, Vladimir

"The Worse, the Better." He did not originate this quote. I have a separate page on it.

David Levy, famous comet-hunter

“Inspiration before Outreach — because if you don’t INSPIRE your audience, outreach will go nowhere.”

LLoyd_Jones, Martyn

I spend half my time telling Christians to study doctrine, and the other half telling them doctrine is not enough.

Lewis, C.S.

  • The beauty of the female is the root of joy to the female as well as to the male, and it is no accident that the goddess of Love is older and stronger than the god. To desire the desiring of her own beauty is the vanity of Lilith, but to desire the enjoying of her own beauty is the obedience of Eve, and to both it is in the lover that the beloved tastes her own delightfulness. As obedience is the stairway of pleasure, so humility is the Failure to find another source is discussed here.
  • “Why you fool, it's the educated reader who CAN be gulled. All our difficulty comes with the others. When did you meet a workman who believes the papers? He takes it for granted that they're all propaganda and skips the leading articles. He buys his paper for the football results and the little paragraphs about girls falling out of windows and corpses found in Mayfair flats. He is our problem. We have to recondition him. But the educated public, the people who read the high-brow weeklies, don't need reconditioning. They're all right already. They'll believe anything.”
  • “I suppose there are two views about everything,” said Mark.

"Eh? Two views? There are a dozen views about everything until you know the answer. Then there’s never more than one.”

  • “Fellows of colleges do not always find money matters easy to understand: if they did, they would probably not have been the sort of men who become Fellows of colleges.”

“his education had had the curious effect of making things that he read and wrote more real to him than things he saw. Statistics about agricultural laborers were the substance; any real ditcher, plowman or farmer's boy, was the shadow. Though he had never noticed it himself, he had a great reluctance, in his work, ever to use words as 'man' or 'woman.' He preferred to write about 'vocational groups,' 'elements,' 'classes' and 'populations:' for, in his own way, he believed as firmly as any mystic in the superior reality of the things that are not seen.” ― C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength

“But what do you want me to do, Sir?” “My dear young friend, the golden rule is very simple. There are only two errors which would be fatal to one placed in the peculiar situation which certain parts of your previous conduct have unfortunately created for you. On the one hand, anything like a lack of initiative or enterprise would be disastrous. On the other, the slightest approach to unauthorized action—anything which suggested that you were assuming a liberty of decision which, in all the circumstances, is not really yours—might have consequences from which even I could not protect you. But as long as you keep quite clear of these two extremes, there is no reason (speaking unofficially) why you should not be perfectly safe.” ― C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength

  • “There dwell an accursed people, full of pride and lust. There when a young man takes a maiden in marriage, they do not lie together, but each lies with a cunningly fashioned image of the other, made to move and to be warm by devilish arts, for real flesh will not please them, they are so dainty in their dreams of lust. Their real children they fabricate by vile arts in a secret place.”

― C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength

  • "Your trouble has been what old poets called Daungier. We call it Pride. You are offended by the masculine itself: the loud, irruptive, possessive thing—the gold lion, the bearded bull—which breaks through hedges and scatters the little kingdom of your primness as the dwarfs scattered the carefully made bed.
  • "Man has got to take charge of Man. That means, remember, that some men have got to take charge of the rest—which is another reason for cashing in on it as soon as one can.”

Long, Earl (Governor of Louisiana, brother of Huey Long)

  • "Don't write anything you can phone. Don't phone anything you can talk. Don't talk anything you can whisper. Don't whisper anything you can smile. Don't smile anything you can nod. Don't nod anything you can wink."

Russell Long (Senator from Indiana, son of Huey Long)

Luther, Martin

  • "Every week I preach justification by faith to my people, because every week they forget it."
"This is a murky Luther quote that seems like something he would have said, yet finding an exact reference isn't easy. A couple of people have searched for this quote uncovering interesting clues and theories of its origin (see for instance, About That Great Luther Quote and also the discussion here). Piggybacking on their efforts, I have my own theory of how this quote became popular: it's in the form it's in because singer-song writer Derek Webb was quoting Charles Spurgeon quoting Luther... whether he knew it or not!" https://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2020/08/luther-every-week-i-preach.html
  • “You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say.”

Machiavelli, Nicholas

“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

Macaulay, Thomas

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.

‘A government cannot be wrong in punishing fraud or force, but it is almost certain to be wrong if, abandoning its legitimate function, it tells private individuals that it knows their business better than they know it themselves.’ (unkonwn source)

Massie, Thomas

Who could have foreseen that the response to the very lackluster performance of the vaccines would be to force people to take them, to force the people who took them to take more of them, and for the CEO of the company profiting most from them to call their critics criminals?

Matjaž Leonardis

If 0.1mg dose of a drug can massively alter the behaviour of a 100kg human (nine orders of magnitude ratio) then the idea small groups of individuals can change massive social systems should seem at least plausible. (2022, Twitter)


The brief I was reading recited the *entire* procedural history of the matter before saying "Our Problem is X. We need you to do Y. Right away. Because otherwise, Z is going to happen to us, which will make us very sad." (Twitter, https://twitter.com/RMFifthCircuit/status/1436042316125548548 (2021).


  • As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
  • I know some who are constantly drunk on books as other men are drunk on whiskey.
  • Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats
  • An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it makes a better soup
  • A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.

Mouton Rothchild

From Wikipedia: In 1973, Mouton was elevated to "first growth" status after decades of intense lobbying by its powerful and influential owner,[1] the only change in the original 1855 classification (excepting the 1856 addition of Château Cantemerle). This prompted a change of motto: previously, the motto of the wine was Premier ne puis, second ne daigne, Mouton suis. ("First, I cannot be. Second, I do not deign to be. Mouton I am."), and it was changed to Premier je suis, Second je fus, Mouton ne change. ("First, I am. Second, I used to be. Mouton does not change.")

More, Thomas

"Stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul." This is attributed to him, but I doubt he said it. I can't find a source.


  • From Twitter: “The most common error of a smart engineer is to optimize a thing that should not exist.” To look for an interior rather than a corner solution.

Napoleon Bonaparte

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.”

Nelson, David (Moe)

"Says it the bestest". Email (2022).


  • "The worst readers are those who act like plundering soldiers: they take away a few things they can use, dirty and confuse [verwirren] the rest, and trash [lästern] the whole."

Human, All Too Human (#137)

  • "It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them!"
  • "There comes a point in the history of society when it becomes so pathologically soft and tender that it steps in on behalf of those who harm it, criminals, and it does so quite seriously and honestly. To punish: that appears somehow unfair." --Paragraph 20, ''Beyond Good and Evil.
  • "Science offends the modesty of all genuine women. They feel as if one were trying to look under their skin—or worse! under their clothes and finery." Beyond Good and Evil 127.
  • "He who rejoices even at the stake triumphs not over pain but at the fact that he feels no pain where he had expected to feel it. A parable." Beyond Good and Evil 124.
  • "When we have to change our opinion about someone we hold the inconvenience he has therewith caused us greatly to his discredit." Beyond Good and Evil 125.
  • "A people is a detour of nature to get to six or seven great men.— Yes: and then to get round them." Beyond Good and Evil 126.
  • "The more abstract the truth is that you would teach, the more you have to seduce the senses to it." Beyond Good and Evil 128.
  • "What a person is begins to betray itself when his talent declines—when he ceases to show what he can do. Talent is also finery; finery is also a hiding place." Beyond Good and Evil 130.
  • "One is punished most for one's virtues." Beyond Good and Evil 132.

Orwell, George

"Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.” Orwell, 1984.

Paglia, Camille

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/

Pascal, Blaise

The example of Alexander's chastity has not made so many continent as that of his drunkenness has made intemperate. It is not shameful not to be as virtuous as he, and it seems excusable to be no more vicious. We do not believe ourselves to be exactly sharing in the vices of the vulgar, when we see that we are sharing in those of great men; and yet we do not observe that in these matters they are ordinary men. --Thoughts, 103.

Peterson, Jordan

If you think tough men are dangerous, wait until you see what weak men are capable of.

Very good. Weak men cannot withstand their fears and passions. A coward will commit atrocities out of fear.

Prince Philip

“How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?” Asked of a Scottish driving instructor in 1995.

 “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.
 “We don’t come here for our health. We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves.” During a trip to Canada in 1976.

 “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.
“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.

“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.

“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.

“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.

“Your country is one of the most notorious centres of trading in endangered species.” Accepting a conservation award in Thailand in 1991.

“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.

“Any bloody fool can lay a wreath at the thingamy.” Discussing his role in an interview with Jeremy Paxman.

“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.
“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.


Putin, Vladimir

“The culture of cancellation is the cancellation of culture.” From an October 2022 speech.

Ramsey, Dave

  • "Tell the money where to go instead of wondering where it went."

Rasmusen, Eric

  • "Delight expressed is delight enhanced. That is why I do not restrain my chuckles of pleasure when I hear a speaker say something witty or surprising. (Also, because I know from experience that audience feedback helps.)"
  • "He was so mean he even repelled ticks" or "He was so mean he didn't even need bug spray to repel ticks."
  • "Loving someone is less often to encourage them to do what they desire to do than to desire what they ought to do."
  • "Economics offends the modesty of all genuine professors. They feel as if one were trying to look under their skin—or worse! under their clothes and finery." See Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil 127.
  • "One of the blessings of having a father is that you can call him when you have a minor car crash. One of the blessings of being a father is that someone thinks you're worth calling, and they're right."
  • When you’re dealing with productive inefficiency instead of allocative, you move from triangle losses, which are small, to rectangle losses, which are big.

  • "Leaders must be willing to make bad decisions with insufficient information and insufficient brains, even though they'll look like idiots. We followers must forgive."
  • Celebrity preachers: Trample on the Cross to pick up a crown.

Unpopular preachers: Trample on a crown to pick up the Cross.

  • Just as high-IQ men come unarmed to a battle of wits, ss strong men come unarmed to a battle of fists. Raw talent is not enough. One must know how to use it. And be willing to use it.

  • Andrew Carnegie (repeated by his friend Mark Twain) said about undiversification: "Put all your eggs in one basket-- and then WATCH THAT BASKET." The Buffett-Munger method is "Watch for a one really good basket-- and then put all your eggs into it."

Quoteinvestigator tracks down the source of the Carnegie quotation.

  • We should treat young men as men, with all the privileges and responsibilities attached thereto, but tell them they are too foolish and experienced to deserve the privileges or carry out the responsibilities.
Come to think of it, that applies equally to young ladies.
Instead, we tell young people they are just as good as the middled-aged, but treat them like children.
  • People who don't care, don't quarrel. They just let each other be wrong and make mistakes. Love leads to fights.

  • The cosmopolitan man has no Country, the timeless man has no Time.


“All the economic miracles of the postwar world are put in the shade by these achievements”.

“[G]reat pains are taken to keep the Southerners in the dark. The demarcation line is manned exclusively by American troops […] with an empty stretch of territory behind. No Southern eye can be allowed a peep into the North”.

Roche, Christopher

  • In June 1998 an instance appeared in a graduation speech delivered by valedictorian Christopher Roche at Albertus Magnus High School. "Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened,”

Ludwig Jacobowski , “Leuchtende Tage” (1899):

Nicht weinen, weil sie vorüber! Lächeln, weil sie gewesen!

English translation: Do not cry because they are past! Smile, because they once were!

Roosevelt, Theodore

"1905 State of the Union Address":

We desire to set up a moral standard. There can be no delusion more fatal to the Nation than the delusion that the standard of profits, of business prosperity, is sufficient in judging any business or political question--from rate legislation to municipal government. Business success, whether for the individual or for the Nation, is a good thing only so far as it is accompanied by and develops a high standard of conduct--honor, integrity, civic courage. The kind of business prosperity that blunts the standard of honor, that puts an inordinate value on mere wealth, that makes a man ruthless and conscienceless in trade, and weak and cowardly in citizenship, is not a good thing at all, but a very bad thing for the Nation. This Government stands for manhood first and for business only as an adjunct of manhood.

Rorty, Richard

  • "The contemporary cultural Left urges that America should not be a melting pot, because we need to respect one another in our differences. This Left wants to preserve otherness rather than ignore it." (From Achieving Our... (1997))

Routledge, Clay

  • We are living in an era of woke capitalism in which companies pretend to care about social justice to sell products to people who pretend to hate capitalism.

Rumsfeld, Donald

Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don't know we don't know.

"There_are_known_knowns", Wikipedia.

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.”

Sailer, Steve

  • "When it comes to human behavior, there mostly aren’t systematic differences between what your lying eyes tell you and what The Science says. There’s a continuum between anecdote, anecdata, and data....
If there’s a strong statistical pattern in the numbers, you should be able to come up with vivid real-life examples of it. And if you can think of several examples suggesting a pattern, you might well be able to find large-scale data for it.
My main one weird trick for coming up with enough insights to make a living as an unfashionable pundit for 22 years has been to assume that private life facts and public life facts are one and the same. Most pundits assume public controversies, such as BLM, are of a higher realm than daily life, so that what they notice about “safe neighborhoods” and “good schools” when they are making real estate decisions for themselves couldn’t possibly have any relevance to the great issues of the day they discuss in the media." (Taki's Magazine, 2022)
  • "I am told that we shouldn’t mention the truth because either:
—The facts have no possible policy implications, or
—The facts have overwhelmingly horrible policy implications, such as the logical necessity of reimposing slavery or instituting genocide.
The former strikes me as obtuse and the latter as insane and/or evil.(Taki's Magazine, 2022)
  • There’s no need for everybody to continue to pretend ever since the 1978 Bakke decision that exalted “diversity” as the excuse for violating the 14th Amendment’s requirement of equal protection of the laws that affirmative action makes colleges more intellectually stimulating when obviously the opposite has proven true. Quotas have helped make colleges minefields of cancel culture by bringing onto campus insecure and resentful masses of racially preferred students out to punish anyone who alludes to the race gaps that are American society’s central fact. Instead, underqualified preference beneficiaries should be told to be thankful for their privilege.(Taki's Magazine, 2022)

  • "I quoted this letter at length because it seems like such a vivid example of the mindset of the current day: reality is determined by words, that honest words threaten the marginalized with violence, and asking the marginalized to improve their behavior is unthinkable." (on renaming monkeypox, 2022)
  • "Debate-as-sport is masculine, groupthink and cancellation is feminine." (Twitter, 2022)
  • "How to square the circle of indulging in the kind of petty grievances that most fascinate people with upper-middle-class disdain for Trump-like feuding? And how to make our pique sound important?
The answer to both appears to be to position one’s personal gripes as part of the cosmically important war on racism and sexism, while conversely labeling Trump’s obviously individualistic feuds as racist.
Thus, the upper reaches of society have been egging on everybody who isn’t a straight white male to dredge up and dwell on ancient memories of social unease in middle and high school. But instead of getting too specific about that mean girl in eighth grade who said snippy things about your shoes, you are encouraged to blame your embarrassing memories on whiteness in general." "Feud for Thought," Taki's Magazine (2021).
  • "The problem with economics these days is not so much the various models as that economists believe that having models lets them get away without knowing much about the real world."

How can you tell who is a marginalized community? If they are legally protected, then they are marginalized, but if you are allowed to discriminate against them, then they aren’t marginalized. Is that so hard to understand?

Salisbury, Lord

  • "Within certain limits of intelligence, honesty and knowledge of the law, one man would make as good a judge as another and a Tory mentality is ipso facto more trustworthy than a Liberal one."

Samuelson, Paul

“I don’t care who writes a nation’s laws—or crafts its advanced treaties—if I can write its economics textbooks. The first lick is the privileged one, impinging on the beginner’s tabula rasa at its most impressionable state.” (1990)

. See Econdump on this quote.

  • "Yes, Ricardo differed with Smith; and thought those differences important. But upon detailed examination, we find that their differences do not mainly involve differences in their behavior equations, short-run or long-run, but rather involve their semantic preferences about what names could be given to the same agreed-upon effects. To moderns, it is for the most part a quarrel about nothing substantive, being essentially an irrelevant argument carried out by Ricardo, often with somewhat unaesthetic logic." From "The Canonical Classical Model of Political Economy," Journal of Economic Literature, Dec., 1978, Vol. 16, No. 4 (Dec., 1978), pp. 1415-1434.

Schumpeter, Joseph

See the Schumpeter page.

Scalia, son

At Scalia's Funeral: "We are gathered here because of one man. A man known personally to many of us—known only by reputation to even more. A man loved by many—scorned by others. A man known for great controversy & for great compassion. That man, of course, is Jesus of Nazareth."

Sedley, Catharine, Countess of Dorchester

She was mistress to the Duke of York, later to become King James II. 'Catharine herself was astonished at the violence of the ducal passion. "It cannot be my beauty," she said, "for he must see I have none; and it cannot be my wit, for he has not enough to know that I have any"' (Thomas Seccombe, DNB).'

From a Bonham's auction catalog selling a William III grant to her, expected to sell for about $1,500.

Shaw, George Bernard

George Bernard Shaw wrote in 1903: ”The roulette table pays nobody except him who keeps it. Nevertheless a passion for gaming is common, though a passion for keeping roulette wheels is unknown.”

Upon refusing to read the entire manuscript before rejecting a book: "You don't have to eat the whole egg to know it's rotten."


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.

From @HASilverglate (Roughly. I’m sure he said it better)


“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

Me: "It's hard to get a man to understand something when his TV invitations depend on his not understanding it.”

Me: "It's hard to get a man to understand something when his party invitations depend on his not understanding it.”


Salvation is not an invitation from a buddy, but a summons from a king. (Twitter, 2021.)

Solzhenitsyn, Alexander

A decline in courage may be the most striking feature which an outside observer notices in the West in our days. The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, each government, each political party, and, of course, in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society.


Without any censorship, in the West fashionable trends of thought and ideas are carefully separated from those which are not fashionable; nothing is forbidden, but what is not fashionable will hardly ever find its way into periodicals or books or be heard in colleges.


A fact which cannot be disputed is the weakening of human beings in the West while in the East they are becoming firmer and stronger -- 60 years for our people and 30 years for the people of Eastern Europe. During that time we have been through a spiritual training far in advance of Western experience. Life's complexity and mortal weight have produced stronger, deeper, and more interesting characters than those generally [produced] by standardized Western well-being.

Therefore, if our society were to be transformed into yours, it would mean an improvement in certain aspects, but also a change for the worse on some particularly significant scores. ... After the suffering of many years of violence and oppression, the human soul longs for things higher, warmer, and purer than those offered by today's mass living habits, introduced by the revolting invasion of publicity, by TV stupor, and by intolerable music.

There are meaningful warnings which history gives a threatened or perishing society. Such are, for instance, the decadence of art, or a lack of great statesmen. There are open and evident warnings, too. The center of your democracy and of your culture is left without electric power for a few hours only, and all of a sudden crowds of American citizens start looting and creating havoc. The smooth surface film must be very thin, then, the social system quite unstable and unhealthy.

"A World Split Apart," delivered 8 June 1978, Harvard University

Sowell, Thomas

"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."


"There is something very comforting in the thought that Satan is an adversary: I would sooner have him for an adversary than for a friend."

De Stael, Germaine (Madame)

“Tout comprendre c’est tout pardonner.” To understand all is to forgive all.

  • FakeBuddhaQuotes tells us that this is not quite what she said. She actually wrote “Car tout comprendre rend très indulgent, et sentir profondément inspire une grande bontée.” Close enough for credit?

Stalin, Joseph

“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.”

Stout, Rex

"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)

Strauss, Johann

Die Fliedermaus, libretto in German and English:

Nein, mit solchen Advokaten			No, with advocates like this
Ist verkauft man und verraten,			One is sold short and betrayed,
Da verliert man die Geduld.			Making one lose patience.
Rekurrieren, appellieren			Petition,	appeal,
Reklamieren, revidieren,			Complain, review,
Reziepieren, subvertieren,			Prescribe, subvert,
Devolvieren, involvieren,			Devolve,  involve, 
Protestieren, liquidieren,			Protest, liquidate,
Exzerptieren, extorquieren			Excerpt, extort,
Arbitrieren, resümieren!			Arbitrate, summarize!
Exkulpieren, inkulpieren,			Exculpate, inculpate
kalkulieren, konzipieren			Calculate, draft
Und Sie müssen triumphieren!			And you must triumph!
Ach, wie rührt mich dies!			Ah, how this stirs me!
Glücklich ist, wer vergisst,			Happy is the person who forgets,
Was doch nicht zu ändern ist.			What can't be altered anyway.

From Die Fliedermaus: Glücklich ist, wer vergisst, Was doch nicht zu ändern ist.		
(Happy he, who forgets, What, can't be altered  anyway.)


“We all have only so much altruism in us. Economists like me think of altruism as a valuable and rare good that needs conserving. Far better to conserve it by designing a system in which people’s wants will be satisfied by individuals being selfish, and saving that altruism for our families, our friends, and the many social problems in this world that markets cannot solve."


A price increase is a message about scarcity. Price controls are like shooting the messenger." quoted in May 5, 2008 issue of Forbes.

Subscript text


  • Omnium consensu capax imperii nisi imperasset. “All would have agreed that he was capable of being emperor, if only he had never been it.” So wrote Tacitus of Galba.

Traldi, Oliver

I've never heard a good argument for why a long-gone philosopher's problematic views matter for evaluating their plausible ones. People seem to have this sense that problematic-ness kind of like infects someone's whole corpus somehow. That's just conspiracist contagion reasoning. --Twitter (2021)

Trotsky, Leon

You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.


  • Trump tonight at Mar a Lago on transgender sports: “This lady was trying to set her record and then this dude shows up…”

8:44 PM · May 4, 2022. (https://twitter.com/RaheemKassam/status/1522014323371085824)

  • His election rerunning announcement speech:

Michael Tracey@mtracey·14hSorry to break it to you, but Trump was spot-on with this one: “They say the ocean will rise 1/8 of an inch over the next 200 to 300 years, but don’t worry about nuclear weapons that can take out entire countries with one shot. Something is wrong with their thinking.”

This is an example of how he exaggerates in the hope that someone will correct him and make his point for him (1/8 inch corrected to 2 inches, still tiny).

Twain, Mark

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years." Mark Twain, "Old Times on the Mississippi" Atlantic Monthly, 1874.

  • A parody of Ben Franklin by Twain. I heard it in a better version than Twain's: "Never put off till tomorrow what you can put off till the day after tomorrow."

Valery, Paul

"Un poème n'est jamais fini, seulement abandonné."
A poem is never finished; it's always an accident that puts a stop to it—i.e. gives it to the public. Often quoted in W. H. Auden' s paraphrase, ‘A poem is never finished, only abandoned’ . <.br> See also "Lecode n'est jamais fini, seulement termine"
Littérature (1930).

Sarah Vaughan

Nobody works on easy street...
When opportunity comes knockin'
You just keep on with your rockin'
'Cause you know your fortune's made

Wang, John


Web2: "If you're not paying for it, you are the product."

Web3: "If you don't understand the source of yield, you are the yield."

Watt, Peter

  • "Judy Holliday said. "Never do nothing you wouldn't want printed on the front page of The New York Times. In Hunter Biden's case it seems that nothing he does will ever be printed on the front page of The New York Times."


The Age of Science draws to a close; there dawns the Age of Silence. --https://twitter.com/whyvert/status/1359273098663575560

Williams, Robin

“As an alcoholic, you will violate your standards quicker than you can lower them.”

Wolfe, Humbert

The London Times: .
You cannot ever bribe or twist
The freeborn British journalist
Seeing what, unbribed, he’ll do
You realize there’s no reason to

Yang, Wesley

"The more one sacrifices, the more sacred becomes the idol to which one has sacrificed." (improved, Twitter 2022)

Yeats, William

The first half of "The Second Coming":

Turning and turning in the widening gyre   
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst   
Are full of passionate intensity.
The best lack all conviction, while the worst 
Are full of passionate intensity.

Young, Faron

From the song "Occasional Wife":
"It needs more than just an occasional piece of your life
A home just can't stand when it has an occasional wife."

Yglesias, Matthew

There are big tranches of the world where people do redefinitions and treat that as doing analysis. April 8 tweet.

The Z-Man

"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/

Zhu, Yuanyi

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

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For the Future

Later maybe I will go to this format:

  • A: Alcorn, Anonymous, Astral Codex Ten.
  • B: Bayly, Joseph; Bayly, Timothy; BBC.
  • C: CANNON, CHESTERTON, Connolly, Cox.
  • D: Dawry, Dennett, Dick, DIPLOCK, Domingos.
  • E: Enzensbergert.
  • F: Feynman, Flanagan, Follows.
  • G: Gelman, Genghis Khan, Goethe, GOLDMAN, Grant.
  • H: Hippocrates
  • K: KASCHUTA, Kennedy.
  • L: Lenin, Lloyd_Jones,
  • M: Martyn, Machiavelli, Macaulay.
  • N: Napoleon.
  • P: Paglia, Prince Philip.
  • R: Rasmusen, Rumsfeld, Ryle.
  • S: Schumpeter, Joseph Silverglate Sowell, Thomas Stalin, Joseph Stout, Rex
  • T: TABARROK, Trotsky.
  • W: Whyvert
  • Y: Yeats, Yglesias.
  • Z: The Z-Man, Zhu.
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