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Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

French poet, touted as the most influential romantic writer of the 19th Century, Victor Marie Hugo, and his thoughts on:

Religion

These two haves of God, the Pope and the emperor.

God became a man, granted. The devil became a woman.

Obstacles to Fame

You have enemies? Why, it is the story of every man who has done a great deed or created a new idea. It is the cloud which thunders around everything that shines. Fame must have enemies, as light must have gnats. Do no bother yourself about it; disdain. Keep your mind serene as you keep your life clear.

Death Penalty

You insist on the example [of the death penalty]. Why? For what it teaches. What do you want to teach with your example? That thou shalt not kill. And how do you teach thou shalt not kill? By killing.

Progress

A day will come when there will be no battlefields, but markets opening to commerce and minds opening to ideas. A day will come when the bullets and bombs are replaced by votes, by universal suffrage, by the venerable arbitration of a great supreme senate which will be to Europe what Parliament is to England, the Diet to Germany, and the Legislative Assembly to France.

Ideas

One resists the invasion of armies; one does not resist the invasion of ideas.

Nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has come.

Balance

To put everything in balance is good, to put everything in harmony is better.

Humanity

Jesus wept; Voltaire smiled. Of that divine tear and that human smile is composed the sweetness of the present civilization.

Tolerance

There shall be no slavery of the mind.

Revolution

I represent a party which does not yet exist: the party of revolution, civilization. This party will make the twentieth century. There will issue from it first the United States of Europe, then the United States of the World.

Life

To love is to act.

Foundation

 The need of the immaterial is the most deeply rooted of all needs. One must have bread; but before bread, one must have the ideal.

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American entrepreneur, inventor, founder of Apple, Steven Paul Jobs, and his thoughts on:

Life

I want to put a ding in the universe.

Key Differences

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

Pretty much, Apple and Dell are the only ones in this industry making money. They make it by being Wal-Mart. We make it by innovation.

It is piracy, not overt online music stores, which is our main competitor.

Customers

You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.

It took us three years to build the NeXT computer. If we’d given customers what they said they wanted, we’d have built a computer they’d have been happy with a year after we spoke to them – not something they’d want now.

A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.

Excellence

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.

Definition of Design

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

Market Share

Apple’s market share is bigger than BMW’s or Mercedes’s or Porsche’s in the automotive market. What’s wrong with being BMW or Mercedes?

Innovation

To turn really interesting ideas and fledgling technologies into a company that can continue to innovate for years, it requires a lot of disciplines.

Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.

Work

The people who are doing the work are the moving force behind the Macintosh. My job is to create a space for them, to clear out the rest of the organization and keep it at bay.

I think we’re having fun. I think our customers really like our products. And we’re always trying to do better.

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Billionaire investor, industrialist and philanthropist, Warren Edward Buffett, and his thoughts on:

Vox populi

A public-opinion poll is no substitute for thought.

Overthinking

Beware of geeks bearing formulas.

Derivatives

Derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction.

Suits

I buy expensive suits. They just look cheap on me.

Market Relativity

In the 20th century, the United States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497.

Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.

Fear and Uncertainty

You know, people talk about this being an uncertain time. You know, all time is uncertain. I mean, it was uncertain back in – in 2007, we just didn’t know it was uncertain. It was – uncertain on September 10th, 2001. It was uncertain on October 18th, 1987, you just didn’t know it.

Americans are in a cycle of fear which leads to people not wanting to spend and not wanting to make investments, and that leads to more fear. We’ll break out of it. It takes time.

Media

The smarter the journalists are, the better off society is. For to a degree, people read the press to inform themselves-and the better the teacher, the better the student body.

Wealth

I always knew I was going to be rich. I don’t think I ever doubted it for a minute.

Of the billionaires I have known, money just brings out the basic traits in them. If they were jerks before they had money, they are simply jerks with a billion dollars.

Hindsight

If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians.

Risk

Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.

Risk is a part of God’s game, alike for men and nations.

Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1.

Taxes

If anything, taxes for the lower and middle class and maybe even the upper middle class should even probably be cut further. But I think that people at the high end – people like myself – should be paying a lot more in taxes. We have it better than we’ve ever had it.

Investors

We believe that according the name ‘investors’ to institutions that trade actively is like calling someone who repeatedly engages in one-night stands a ‘romantic.’

Contrarian Thinking

We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.

Bad business

When a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.

Diversification

Wide diversification is only required when investors do not understand what they are doing.

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Billionaire financier, businessman, philanthropist, and advocate of liberal idealism, Gyorgy Schwartz, more popularly known as George Soros, and his thoughts on:

Open Societies

A full and fair discussion is essential to democracy.

An open society is a society which allows its members the greatest possible degree of freedom in pursuing their interests compatible with the interests of others.

I chose America as my home because I value freedom and democracy, civil liberties and an open society.

Markets and Social Needs

I think there’s a lot of merit in an international economy and global markets, but they’re not sufficient because markets don’t look after social needs.

Markets are designed to allow individuals to look after their private needs and to pursue profit. It’s really a great invention and I wouldn’t under-estimate the value of that, but they’re not designed to take care of social needs.

Markets and Uncertainty

Stock market bubbles don’t grow out of thin air. They have a solid basis in reality, but reality as distorted by a misconception.

Markets are constantly in a state of uncertainty and flux and money is make by discounting the obvious and betting on the unexpected.

Philanthropy

I’m not doing my philanthropic work, out of any kind of guilt, or any need to create good public relations. I’m doing it because I can afford to do it, and I believe in it.

War on Terror

Bush’s war in Iraq has done untold damage to the United States. It has impaired our military power and undermined the morale of our armed forces. Our troops were trained to project overwhelming power. They were not trained for occupation duties.

Marijuana

Just as the process of repealing national alcohol prohibition began with individual states repealing their own prohibition laws, so individual states must now take the initiative with respect to repealing marijuana prohibition laws.

Who most benefits from keeping marijuana illegal? The greatest beneficiaries are the major criminal organizations in Mexico and elsewhere that earn billions of dollars annually from this illicit trade – and who would rapidly lose their competitive advantage if marijuana were a legal commodity.

The criminalization of marijuana did not prevent marijuana from becoming the most widely used illegal substance in the United States and many other countries. But it did result in extensive costs and negative consequences.

Testing

The financial markets generally are unpredictable. So that one has to have different scenarios… The idea that you can actually predict what’s going to happen contradicts my way of looking at the market.

Fallibility

Once we realize that imperfect understanding is the human condition there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes.

The people currently in charge have forgotten the first principle of an open society, namely that we may be wrong and that there has to be free discussion. That it’s possible to be opposed to the policies without being unpatriotic.

Contrarian Thinking

The worse a situation becomes the less it takes to turn it around, the bigger the upside.

The United States

We are the most powerful nation on earth. No external power, no terrorist organization, can defeat us. But we can defeat ourselves by getting caught in a quagmire.

We must recognize that as the dominant power in the world we have a special responsibility. In addition to protecting our national interests, we must take the leadership in protecting the common interests of humanity.

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Best known for his satirical novels: Nineteen Eighty-Four (1948) and Animal Farm (1945), english novelist, polemical journalist, literary critic, and poet, Eric Arthur Blair, more popularly known as George Orwell, and his thoughts on:

Happiness

Happiness can exist only in acceptance.

Honesty

In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act.

If you have embraced a creed which appears to be free from the ordinary dirtiness of politics – a creed from which you yourself cannot expect to draw any material advantage – surely that proves that you are in the right?

Morality

Mankind is not likely to salvage civilization unless he can evolve a system of good and evil which is independent of heaven and hell.

Media

Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper.

Sides

There is hardly such a thing as a war in which it makes no difference who wins. Nearly always one side stands more or less for progress, the other side more or less for reaction.

Politics

In our time political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.

In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.

Liberals

Liberal: a power worshipper without power.

Sainthood

Many people genuinely do not want to be saints, and it is probable that some who achieve or aspire to sainthood have never felt much temptation to be human beings.

Generations

Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.

Writing

It is also true that one can write nothing readable unless one constantly struggles to efface one’s own personality. Good prose is like a windowpane.

Bias

All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.

Doublethink

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

Freedom

Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

Democracy

It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it; consequently, the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to any one meaning.

Homo Sapiens

Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals.

Invulnerability

Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible.

Lunatics

What can you do against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy?

Tragedy

A tragic situation exists precisely when virtue does not triumph but when it is still felt that man is nobler than the forces which destroy him.

Equality

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

Propaganda

All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.

Representation

As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents.

Justification

Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac.

Love

To an ordinary human being, love means nothing if it does not mean loving some people more than others.

One can love a child, perhaps, more deeply than one can love another adult, but it is rash to assume that the child feels any love in return.

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Hypatia was a 4th-century Greek scientist, philosopher, and astronomer. A noted scholar from the great library of Alexandria, she was murdered on 415 AD by a Christian mob. Her death coincided with the beginning of the Dark Ages.

Her thoughts on:

Dogma

All formal dogmatic religions are fallacious and must never be accepted by self-respecting persons as final.

Free Thought

Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all.

Enlightnment

Life is an unfoldment, and the further we travel the more truth we can comprehend. To understand the things that are at our door is the best preparation for understanding those that lie beyond.

Myths

Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fancies. To teach superstitions as truths is a most terrible thing. The child mind accepts and believes them, and only through great pain and perhaps tragedy can he be in after years relieved of them.

Superstition vs. Truth

In fact, men will fight for a superstition quite as quickly as for a living truth — often more so, since a superstition is so intangible you cannot get at it to refute it, but truth is a point of view, and so is changeable.

We previously featured the story of Hypatia on Carl sagan’s account of the last days of Alexandria–and the loss of all the classical knowledge of that time.

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American stand-up comedian, social critic, satirist, and musician, William Melvin Hicks, and his thoughts on:

Being Smart

Children are smarter than any of us. Know how I know that? I don’t know one child with a full time job and children.

Music

Music is a great energizer. It’s a language everybody knows.

Advocacy

If you’re so pro-life, do me a favour: don’t lock arms and block medical clinics. If you’re so pro-life, lock arms and block cemeteries.

Community

I get a kick out of being an outsider constantly. It allows me to be creative.

Media

Watching television is like taking black spray paint to your third eye.

Inspiration

If you don’t think drugs have done good things for us, then take all of your records, tapes and CD’s and burn them.

The next big thing

Listen, the next revolution is gonna be a revolution of ideas.

Clergy

Women priests. Great, great. Now there’s priests of both sexes I don’t listen to.

Enablement

We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution.

Comedy

It’s always funny until someone gets hurt. Then it’s just hilarious.

Smoking

I’m not really a heavy smoker any more. I only get through two lighters a day now.

America

People in the United Kingdom and outside the United States share my bemusement with the United States that America doesn’t share with itself.

Bliss

I left in love, in laughter, and in truth, and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit.

Enlightenment

As long as one person lives in darkness then it seems to be a responsibility to tell other people.

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