When my bird was looking at my computer monitor, i thought WOOOOAH! That bird has no idea what he's looking at. And yet, what does the bird do? Does he panic? No...he can't really panic. He just does the best he can. Is he able to live in a world where he's so ignorant? Well, he doesn't really have a choice. Yeah, he can kinda live. It's not- it's usually- Usually the bird is okay even though he doesn't understand the world. And uhh...He can kinda learn what's safe and what's..uh..dangerous. So uh. That's where i've been living. You're that bird looking at the monitor, and you're thinking to yourself "i can figure this out!" And, you know, maybe you have some bird ideas...that are...

Maybe that's the best you can do.

Terry Davis

All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone
That is why we like noise and activity so much. That is why imprisonment is such a horrific punishment. That is why the pleasure of being alone is incomprehensible. That is, in fact, the main joy of the condition of kingship, because people are constantly trying to amuse kings and provide them with all sorts of distraction.—The king is surrounded by people whose only thought is to entertain him and prevent him from thinking about himself. King though he may be, he is unhappy if he thinks about it

Blaise Pascal

The secret is to just do whatever you want because there is no such thing as decisions. The way you end up playing is the only way you could possibly have ever played. This hand is just the next stop on a train that's been running for four billion years. Ever since life bubbled out of a simmering puddle of acid. You could stick a thermometer in that puddle, give it a read, and know whether four billion years later.

Jon Bois

The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads.

Jeff Hammerbacher

Intermediate Axis Theorem
For example, John Mallinckrodt (CSU Pomona) relates the story of a student asking Richard Feynman if there is any intuitive way to understand the result; Feynman went into deep thought for about 10 or 15 seconds and answered, "no."



Jon Bois

Your Obituary
And I have no illusions that I’ll be remembered for very long. If Byron White is as nearly forgotten as he is now, as he said he would be, I have no illusions, I won’t last five minutes; that’s as it should be.

The great joy in life, Shaw said, is devoting yourself to a cause you deem mighty before you are thrown on the scrap heap. An independent judiciary in this country, I can carry that baton for as long as I can carry it, and I have no illusions I’m going to last as long as you suggest, and that’ll be good enough for me.

Judge Neil Gorsuch

It was granted me to carry away from my prison years on my bent back, which nearly broke beneath its load, this essential experience; how a human being becomes evil and how good. In the intoxication of youthful successes I had felt myself to be infallible, and I was therefore cruel. In the surfeit of power I was a murderer, and an oppressor. In my most evil moments I was convinced that I was doing good, and I was well supplied with systematic arguments. And it was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either—but right through every human heart—and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains… an unuprooted small corner of evil.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

In the Desert
In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter bitter," he answered;
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart."

Stephen Crane

Free Thought
He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion.

John Stuart Mill

A Libertarian Puzzle
Allow me to oversimplify.

People disagree about ends: Some people want to promote broader human flourishing, others want to preserve the status quo. People disagree about means: Some people think unfettered markets will best promote broader human flourishing, others think unfettered markets will best preserve the status quo.

We have a nice two-by-two: people who want to promote human flourishing and think that unfettered markets are the best way to get there (libertarians), people who want to promote human flourishing and think that unfettered markets are an impediment (socialists), people who want to preserve the status quo and think unfettered markets are the best way to get there (capitalists), people who want to preserve the status quo and think unfettered markets are an impediment (statists).

Both libertarians and capitalists will go around saying that unfettered markets are great. And both of them will try to persuade their audience by telling their audience that unfettered markets will lead to the thing their audience wants. If the audience wants to preserve the status quo, they will emphasize how unfettered markets properly reward the dynamic innovators who create greatness in the world. If the audience wants to promote human flourishing, they will emphasize how unfettered markets give everyone the opportunity to succeed without the inhibiting force of government regulation.

The trouble is, as an audience member, you can’t really tell whether the speaker is actually a capitalist or a libertarian (or a libertarian who has been duped by a capitalist, or a capitalist who has been duped by a libertarian). Like any salesman, they’ll tell you that their product is the perfect thing to accomplish your needs.

Which leaves just one puzzle: why are there so few statists?

Aaron Swartz

IMG 5148
Basically, if you go to Youtube and you search the letters 'IMG', and then a space, and any random 4 numbers like 'IMG 5148' or 'IMG 0968', something like that, give it a search, and you will find this collection of videos that were just automatically uploaded by some camera, or system, or something. Usually they were unintentional, or accidental, or automatic uploads. So what this means is you'll find a lot of videos, that have literally never been seen, uh, by anyone. They have 0 views and they've been up for years. I saw one one time, that, it was this automated wildlife footage camera, that just shot this up to Youtube. 0 view video, of this like rabbit and deer, like uh, snacking on the same piece of shrubbery, or whatever, and I was like "This is amazing! These 2 animals are getting together, and I was the only one in years to have seen it!" and I just found that incredible

Jon Bois