Sunday, December 25, 2011

Construction and Creation

The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists. 
Source: GK Chesterton, Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens, Chapter III "Pickwick Papers" (1911)

Saturday, December 24, 2011


My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.
Source: Mark Twain, David Copperfield, Ch 12, 1850

Friday, December 23, 2011

Investment in Killing

We're making the largest investment of capital that humankind has ever made in weapons over the next five years. We have decided, as a society, that that's where we should put our money, and that raises the deficits and, thus, the cost of our capital.
Source: Steve Jobs, Unsourced

Thursday, December 22, 2011

On Trying

My meaning simply is, that whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do well; that whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself to completely; that in great aims and in small, I have always been thoroughly in earnest.
Source: Mark Twain, David Copperfield Ch42, 1850

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Problem with Philanthropy

And that's the problem with most philanthropy-- there's no measurement system. You give somebody some money to do something and most of the time you can really never measure whether you failed or succeeded in your judgment of that person or his ideas or their implementation. So if you can't succeed or fail, it's really hard to get better.
Source: Steve Jobs, Unsourced
Taken From: If You Want More Jobs, Look to Steve Jobs, Sovereign Man 10/6/2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts.
Source: Mark Twain, Great Expectations, 1861

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Chance of Contributing

Most of the time, we're taking things. Neither you nor I made the clothes we wear; we don't make the food or grow the foods we eat; we use a language that was developed by other people; we use another society's mathematics. Very rarely do we get a chance to put something back into that pool. I think we have that opportunity now. And no, we don't know where it will lead. We just know there's something much bigger than any of us here.
Source: Steve Jobs, 1985 Playboy Interview
Taken From: If You Want More Jobs, Look to Steve Jobs, Sovereign Man 10/6/2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dignity and Holiness

Dignity, and even holiness too, sometimes, are more questions of coat and waistcoat than some people imagine.
Source: Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist Ch37, 1838

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Possibilities as Probabilities

The most important thing in life is to stop saying ‘I wish’ and start saying ‘I will.’ Consider nothing impossible, then treat possibilities as probabilities.
Source: Mark Twain, Unsourced

Friday, December 16, 2011

On Communication

I have heard it broached that orders should be given in great new ships by electric telegraph. I admire machinery as much is any man, and am as thankful to it as any man can be for what it does for us. But it will never be a substitute for the face of a man, with his soul in it, encouraging another man to be brave and true.
Source: Charles Dickens, The Wreck of the Golden Mary

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Death may beget life, but oppression can beget nothing other than itself.
Source: Charles Dickens, Unsourced

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.
Source: Voltaire, Le Siècle de Louis XIV (1752)
Taken From: International Man, The Worst Advice You'll Ever Get, 2011/12/13

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On Failing and Forging Ahead

Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. . . As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. ... So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.
Source: Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Address, 2005/06/12
Taken From: If You Want More Jobs, Look to Steve Jobs, Sovereign Man 10/6/2011

Monday, December 12, 2011


[D]eath is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.
Source: Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Address, 2005/06/12
Taken From: If You Want More Jobs, Look to Steve Jobs, Sovereign Man 10/6/2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

On Not Following The Crowd

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma-- which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary
Source: Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Address, 2005/06/12
Taken From: If You Want More Jobs, Look to Steve Jobs, Sovereign Man 10/6/2011


Saturday, December 10, 2011


The opinion of 10,000 men is of no value if none of them know anything about the subject. 
Source: Marcus Aurelius (Unsourced)
Taken From: International Man, Readers Respond 2011/12/05

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Next War

The next war ... may well bury Western civilization forever.
Source:  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Unsourced
Taken From: Anti-War Quotes

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Morality of Sacrifice

Under a morality of sacrifice, the first value you sacrifice is morality; the next is self-esteem. When need is the standard, every man is both victim and parasite. As a victim, he must labor to fill the needs of others, leaving himself in the position of a parasite whose needs must be filled by others. He cannot approach his fellow men except in one of two disgraceful roles: he is both a beggar and a sucker.
John Galt (Fictional Character)
Taken From:  Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged (1957) 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Immoral and Moral Actions

Such is the secret core of your creed, the other half of your double standard: it is immoral to live by your own effort, but moral to live by the effort of others - it is immoral to consume your own product, but moral to consume the products of others - it is immoral to earn, but moral to mooch - it is the parasites who are the moral justification for the existence of the producers, but the existence of the parasites is an end in itself - it is evil to profit by achievement, but good to profit by sacrifice - it is evil to create your own happiness, but good to enjoy it at the price of the blood of others.
John Galt (Fictional Character)
Taken From:  Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged (1957)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Non-Aggression Axiom

Whatever may be open to disagreement, there is one act of evil that may not, the act that no man may commit against others and no man may sanction or forgive. So long as men desire to live together, no man may initiate-do you hear me? no man may start-the use of physical force against other.
John Galt (Fictional Character)
Taken From:  Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged (1957)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Man's Mind

Man's mind is his basic tool of survival. Life is given to him, survival is not. His body is given to him, its sustenance is not. His mind is given to him, its content is not. To remain alive, he must act, and before he can act he must know the nature and purpose of his action.
John Galt (Fictional Character)
Taken From:  Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged (1957)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

On Acting against Justice

When one acts on pity against justice, it is the good whom one punishes for the sake of the evil; when one saves the guilty from suffering, it is the innocent whom one forces to suffer.
Hank Rearden (Fictional Character)
Taken From:  Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged (1957)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Freedom and Service

You were called to freedom, brothers.  Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Paul of Tarsus, Galatians 5:13

Friday, December 2, 2011

Human Action

Human action originates change. As far as there is human action there is no stability, but ceaseless alteration. The historical process is a sequence of changes. It is beyond the power of man to stop it and to bring about an age of stability in which all history comes to a standstill. It is man's nature to strive after improvement, to beget new ideas, and to rearrange the conditions of his life according to these ideas.
Source: Ludwig Von Mises, Human Action, Chapter 12, Section 4, The Sphere of Economic Calculation: Stabilization, 1949

Thursday, December 1, 2011

On Erroneous Views and Sanity

However, it is clear that if the mere fact that a man shares erroneous views and acts according to his errors qualifies him as mentally disabled, it would be very hard to discover an individual to which the epithet sane or normal could be attributed. Then we are bound to call the past generations lunatic because their ideas about the problems of the natural sciences and concomitantly their techniques differed from ours. Coming generations will call us lunatics for the same reason. Man is liable to error. If to err were the characteristic feature of mental disability, then everybody should be called mentally disabled.
Source: Ludwig Von Mises, Human Action, Chapter 9, Section 2, The Role of Ideas: World View and Ideology, 1949