Quotes, May 2013

“One of the great insights of psychoanalysis is that you never really want an object, you only want the wanting, which means the solution is to set your sights on an impossible ideal and work hard to reach it. You won’t. That’s not just okay, that’s the point. It’s ok if you fantasize about knowing kung fu if you then try to actually learn kung fu, eventually you will understand you can never really know kung fu, and then you will die. And it will have been worth it.”
-The Last Psychiatrist

“Oh, how blessed young men are who have to struggle for a foundation and beginning in life.”
-John D. Rockefeller

“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.”
-Abraham Maslow

“I laugh at people who say things like ‘I’m a good person, I just do bad things.’ No, that’s not how it works. What you do IS who you are.”
-Tucker Max

“Most of America’s leading entrepreneurs are bound to the masts of their fortunes. They are allowed to keep their wealth only as long as they invest it in others. In a real sense, they can keep only what they give away. It has been given to others in the form of investments. It is embodied in a vast web of enterprises that retains its worth only through constant work and sacrifice. Capitalism is a system that begins not with taking but with giving to others.”
-George Gilder

“To her surprise, the women didn’t know. That’s what the world is like: people talk as if they know everything, but if you dare to ask a question, they don’t know anything.”
-Paulo Coehlo

“Entrepreneurial knowledge has little to do with certified expertise, advanced degrees, or the learning of establishment schools. The fashionably educated and cultivated spurn the kind of fanatically focused learning commanded by the innovators. Wealth all too often comes from doing what other people consider insufferably boring or unendurably hard.”
-George Gilder

“The belief that wealth consists not chiefly in ideas, attitudes, moral codes, and mental disciplines but in definable static things that can be seized and redistributed—that is the materialist superstition. It stultified the works of Marx and other prophets of violence and envy. It betrays every person who seeks to redistribute wealth by coercion. It balks every socialist revolutionary who imagines that by seizing the so-called means of production he can capture the crucial capital of an economy. It baffles nearly every conglomerateur who believes he can safely enter new industries by buying rather than by learning them. It confounds every bureaucrat of science who imagines he can buy or steal the fruits of research and development.”
-George Gilder

“Independent inquiry is needed in your search for truth, not dependence on anyone else’s view or a mere book.”
-Bruce Lee

“To get a person’s real opinion, ask what she thinks everyone else believes… If people truly hold a particular belief, they are more likely to think that others agree or have had similar experiences. [People] tend to assume that other people have had life histories at least somewhat similar to their own. When we talk about other people, we are often talking about ourselves, whether we know it ourselves.”
-Tyler Cowen

“To succeed in life requires a total inability to do anything that makes you uncomfortable when you look at yourself in the mirror.”
-Nassim Taleb

“America isn’t obsessed with sex and violence; it’s obsessed with authenticity (or avoiding it). It just so happens that sex and violence are the only two things that you can’t fake, and we keep coming back to them as the definitive “measures of the man.” We can fake wealth, intellect, status, kindness, political acumen, parenting, looks– there’s no objective measure of any of these things, a man can construct any identity he wants, people might not buy it but who are they to say? But a fight isn’t a matter of opinion, it is too real.”
-The Last Psychiatrist

“Creativity is the foundation of wealth. All progress comes from the creative minority. Under capitalism, wealth is less a stock of goods than a flow of ideas, the defining characteristic of which is surprise. If it were not surprising, we could plan it, and socialism would work.”
-George Gilder

“It’s only through effort that we learn what an idea actually is, and if our passion for it will last or fade. There is no shame in failure – all makers fail. But it’s hard to respect someone who never tries, even once, to do something good that’s always on their mind. If you’re worried about how good your idea is, you’re worrying about the wrong thing.”
-Scott Berkun

“Most people consider themselves above the gritty and relentless details of life that allow the creation of great wealth. They leave it to the experts. But in general you join the one percent of the one percent not by leaving it to the experts but by creating new expertise, not by knowing what the experts know but by learning what they think is beneath them.”
-George Gilder

“The great aim of every human being is to understand the meaning of total love. Love is not to be found in someone else, but in ourselves; we simply awaken it. But in order to do that, we need the other person. The universe only makes sense when we have someone to share our feelings with.”
-Paulo Coelho

“Entrepreneurship is the launching of surprises. The process of wealth creation is offensive to levelers and planners because it yields mountains of new wealth in ways that could not possibly be planned. But unpredictability is fundamental to free human enterprise. It defies every econometric model and socialist scheme. It makes no sense to most professors, who attain their positions by the systematic acquisition of credentials pleasing to the establishment above them. Creativity cannot be planned because it is defined by information measured as surprise. Leading entrepreneurs—from Sam Walton to Larry Page to Mark Zuckerberg—did not ascend a hierarchy; they created a new one. They did not climb to the top of anything. They were pushed to the top by their own success. They did not capture the pinnacle; they became it.”
-George Gilder