Lao Tzu

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pages: 1,327 words: 360,897

Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism by Peter Marshall


agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, David Graeber, feminist movement, garden city movement, hive mind, Howard Zinn, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, land tenure, Lao Tzu, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Naomi Klein, open borders, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post scarcity, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, the market place, union organizing, wage slave, washing machines reduced drudgery

Its roots lay in the popular culture at the dawn of Chinese civilization but it emerged in the sixth century BC as a remarkable combination of philosophy, religion, proto-science and magic. The principal exponent of Taoism is taken to be Lao Tzu, meaning ‘Old Philosopher’. His year of birth was some time between 600 and 300 BC. He was probably of a noble family in Honan province. He rejected his hereditary position as a noble and became a curator of the royal library at Loh. All his life he followed the path of silence – ‘The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao’, he taught.2 According to legend, when he was riding off into the desert to die, he was persuaded by a gatekeeper in northwestern China to write down his teaching for posterity. It seems likely that the Tao te ching (The Way and its Power) which is attributed to Lao Tzu, was written in the third century BC. It has been called by the Chinese scholar Joseph Needham ‘without exception the most profound and beautiful work in the Chinese language’.3 The text consists of eighty-one short chapters in poetic form.

The consensus of all the contributors is that Taoism offers a workable form of anarchism. 2 Lao Tzu, Tao te ching, trans. Gia-Fu Feng & Jane English (New York: Vintage, 1972), ch. 1 (hereafter the chapters are referred to in brackets after each quotation in the text) 3 Joseph Needham, Science and Civilization in China (Cambridge University Press, 1956), II, 35 4 Ibid., II, 37 5 Roger T. Ames, ‘Is Political Taoism Anarchism?’, Journal of Chinese Philosophy, op. cit., p. 34 6 Cf. Needham, Science and Civilization in China, op. cit., II, 70 7 Ames, ‘Is Political Taoism Anarchism?’, op. cit., p. 35 8 Bookchin, ‘Thinking Ecologically’, op. cit., pp. 8–9 9 Cf. Clark, ‘Master Lao and the Anarchist Prince’, op. cit., p. 186; Brian Morris, ‘Lao Tzu and Anarchism’, Freedom Anarchist Review, 42, 17 (22 August 1981), p. 14 10 Chuang Tzu, trans.

But while all anarchists are libertarians, not all libertarians are anarchists. Even so, they are members of the same clan, share the same ancestors and bear resemblances. They also sometimes form creative unions. I have followed in this study the example of Kropotkin who, in his famous article on anarchism for the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1910), traced the anarchist ‘tendency’ as far back as Lao Tzu in the ancient world.11 I am keen to establish the legitimate claims of an anarchist tradition since anarchism did not suddenly appear in the nineteenth century only when someone decided to call himself an anarchist. I would also like to uncover what Murray Bookchin has called a ‘legacy of freedom’ and to reconstruct a strand of libertarian thinking which has been covered or disguised by the dominant authoritarian culture in the past.12 I have primarily restricted myself to thinkers; poets like Shelley and novelists like Franz Kafka, B.


pages: 419 words: 124,522

Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thubron


Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, failed state, invention of gunpowder, invention of the telescope, Lao Tzu, Pax Mongolica, South China Sea, trade route

It’s not like Buddhism or even Christianity here. There are only ten thousand of these monks in all China. Some of them are criminals, I think. They join the sect to escape the law. They make some kind of living, then disappear again.’ So the vision of Lao-tzu has sunk to this. Around its unworldly philosophy–the Tao was both spiritual path and transcendent knowledge–it had always been rife with magic and outlandish deities, and was obsessed with immortality. Even here a fortune-teller murmurs over an astrological chart, and the monks keep a hexagonal stone–when struck, it sings like metal–which the goddess Nuwa gave to Lao-tzu while she mended the sky. Beneath the temple of the Queen Mother of the West, who keeps the peaches of immortality in the Kun Lun mountains where I was going, I stare up at a giantess in painted plaster. Her altar is jumbled with paper flowers, some old bottles and a bag of steamed buns.

In front is the Taoist sanctuary of Lou Guan Tai, which the parvenu Tang emperors, whose blood was more barbarian than Chinese, adopted as their ancestral shrine, covering the surrounding hills with chapels. Soon you are lost among its courts and altars. Worn steps climb and descend through circular moon-gates to grey-walled terraces. The air is awash with incense. There is a whiff of dereliction. The roofs are sloughing their tiles, and rubbish drifts along the paths. Inside the halls preside monstrous fairytale divinities. They repel all thought, all meaning. Lao-tzu himself, ‘Old Sage’–in legend the sixth-century BC founder of Taoism–sits huge and high-coloured behind his altar, a white waterfall of beard forking to his waist. He may have been less a man, in fact, than the name for a compendium of wisdom: a mystic pantheism, the faith of the recluse. But his way became lost. The monks live casually in wood-latticed cells along the courts. They are sallow and young.

I don’t know what she is.’ He starts to wonder aloud what hallmark identifies this religion–in Christianity it is love; in Islam, perhaps, justice–then his brows curdle and he does not guess. What is it, then, to a secular countryman of Confucius? I wonder. The Queen Mother’s neutered gaze fixes us through her curtained canopy. At last he says: ‘Integrity.’ It was for lack of integrity in the world, it seems, that Lao-tzu–if he existed–mounted a black buffalo and prepared to shake the dust of China from his hoofs. The corruption of court life, it is said, had sickened him. Here in the Pass to the West, two and a half millennia ago, a watchman saw him coming–a moon-gate in grey brick enshrines the view–and persuaded him to stop. For a single night the sage distilled his doctrine for posterity in the Tao Te Ching, the Taoist bible.


pages: 669 words: 210,153

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss


Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, post scarcity, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

Training yourself to be uncommonly resilient and have a high pain tolerance. This book will help you to develop all three. I created Tools of Titans because it’s the book that I’ve wanted my entire life. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Pura vida, Tim Ferriss Paris, France 1 Healthy “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” —Lao Tzu “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” —J. Krishnamurti “In the end, winning is sleeping better.” —Jodie Foster “I’m not the strongest. I’m not the fastest. But I’m really good at suffering.” Spirit animal: Carp * * * Amelia Boone Amelia Boone (TW: @ameliaboone, has been called “the Michael Jordan of obstacle course racing” (OCR) and is widely considered the world’s most decorated obstacle racer.

What do I want now? Where is my center now?” ✸ Most-gifted or recommended books The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran: “I love really condensed, shakti [empowerment]-filled, energy-filled statements—something that you can read in a few minutes or you can read for your whole life.” [TF: This little tome is fewer than 100 pages long. Spend the extra $5 for the version with the author’s illustrations.] Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu: Jason travels with this book. “Oftentimes before meditation, I’ll just open it randomly to a page. I read about something and then just have that be what I steep in as I sit.” (See Rick Rubin, page 502, and Joshua Waitzkin, page 577.) When I asked Jason via text which translation he liked, he joked “Tao de Chinga tu madre” (ah, my friends), and then specified: Stephen Mitchell. ✸ Jason’s best $100 or less purchase Jason loves disc (Frisbee) golf and travels with discs.

Sasha wrote two books about his creations and experiments: Pihkal: A Chemical Love Story (Pihkal = Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved) Tihkal: The Continuation (Tihkal = Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved) The two volumes are filled with instructions for how to synthesize these various molecules. He said he put these books out so that the government couldn’t stop people from experimenting. Personally, I prefer the whole-plant sources that have been used for millennia. What Does It Feel Like? “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” —Lao Tzu Most of us have had the experience of sitting at a computer with 20 open tabs. How did this happen? Didn’t I just clean this up last week? Then you get a warning of “Startup disk almost full.” So you delete a few videos as damage control, but . . . why is everything still running so damned slowly? Oh, Dropbox is syncing. Slack has 17 new notifications. Microsoft needs another “critical” update?


pages: 218 words: 44,364

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman, Rod A. Beckstrom


Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Burning Man, disintermediation, experimental economics, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, jimmy wales, Kibera, Lao Tzu, Network effects, pez dispenser, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Wisdom of Crowds, union organizing

Deborah is now busy starting circles, inviting participants from all levels of the company, and empowering them to take on important corporate decisions. Keeping to her catalyst roots, Deborah refuses to be seen as the head. You'd be hard-pressed, in fact, to find her name on Goodwill's Web site. She knows that, in the words of the ancient Chi- THE HIDDEN POWER OF THE CATALYST nese philosopher Lao-tzu, "a leader is best when people barely know that he exists; not so good when people obey and acclaim him; worst when they despise him." Not all catalysts are hidden. Auren Hoffman, in fact, is hard to miss. It's easy enough to find him on his Web site, and Auren isn't shy about getting his name out there. But Auren isn't all about Auren. For him, it's all about making connections. When Ori talked to Auren, for example, Auren quickly blurted out: "Hey, I know your friend Sara!"

The psychologist Carl Rogers was one of the pioneers of the humanist movement in psychology, which advocated for respectful and dignified interactions between therapists and their clients. Instead of being the knowit-all expert, the humanist clinician strove to allow clients to take an active role in their lives and become their own experts. In A Way of Being (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1980), Rogers delineates his "person-centered" approach and discusses the importance of being genuine and connecting with others on a deep level. Lao-tzu was a legendary ancient Chinese philosopher who wrote Tao Te Ching. He is credited with being a founder of Taoism. SOURCES CHAPTER 6: Taking On Decentralization Ingrid Newkirk's book about ALF activists is Free the Animals: The Amazing Story of the Animal Liberation Front (New York: Lantern Books, 2000). The scientist fighting the starfish outbreak in the Great Barrier reef is Russell Reichelt, CEO of the CRC Reef Research Centre.

., 185-89, 191,201 Geronimo, 20 gift economy, 79, 90, 204 Goodwill Industries, 112, 114-15, 126, 130-31 Google, 17172, 174, 195-96 Gorog, Chris, 24 grandmother cell, theory of, 3-5 Grokster, 12-15, 22, 24, 26, 43 GungHo, 188 H N; Harvard University, 163—64, 166 Hemming, Nikki, 60 Hochschild, Adam, 85 Hoffman, Auren, 109-10, 115-18, 120-21, 122, 123, 129, 206 Hresko, Jamie, 188 hybrid organizations, 161-78, 181-96, 207-8 appreciative inquiry in, 177—78 customer experience decentralized by, 161-74 I IBM, 72, 171, 184 open-source software supported by, 172-74 ideology, 94-96, 102-5, 113, 114, 118, 124, 129,207 of AA, 95, 96, 152,206 of ALF, 139, 140.206 of al Qaeda, 140 of Apaches, 95, 96, 149 backlash against attempted influencing of, 149—51 of eMule, 95-96 of GM, 184 of P2P downloaders, 149-51 strategic alteration of, 144—51, 156, 206 Incas, 17, 18, 19 Internet: browsers for, 69—72 as decentralized platform, 97—98 estimated user numbers of, 12, 51 flexibility of, 50 French investors' demand for president of, 31-34, 35, 45, 46,69, 142, 162,201 survival ability of, 48-49 virtual circles on, 88-89, 91 Intuit, 91, 170-71, 174, 184, 204 iTunes, 193, 194-95 J Jacobi, Leor, 99-100 Jamii Bora Trust, 144-46, 149, 206 Japan, 184-89 Joachim, Joseph, 42-43, 44-45 Kashmir, relief efforts in, 148—49 Katrina, Hurricane, 39 Kazaa, 22-25, 26, 41, 60, 61, 154, 205 Kazaa Lite (K+), 24, 41 Kendall, David, 12 Kenya, 143 al Qaeda in, 140-41, 146, 155 Jamii Bora Trust in, 144-46, 149, 206 Labor Day hurricane of 1935, 37-39,49,52, 155,204 Lao-tzu, 114-15 Lettvin, Jerry, 5 Linckia, 35 Linux, 72, 172-73 Lockley, Walt, 75 McNealy, Scott, 173, 174 Martin, David, 119-20, 126, 206 Mary Poppins, 93 Mendelssohn, Felix, 42 MGM, 11-15, 16, 23, 24, 26, 27, 34, 45, 46, 201 Microsoft, 65, 71-72, 94, 172 Mitchard, Jacquelyn, 169-70 Montezuma II, 16-17, 20, 22, 23 Moody, Glyn, 70-71 movie industry, 149-51 Munro, Ingrid, 145 music industry, 41-45, 60 economies of scale in, 192 performing musicians in, 42—43, 44-45, 19192 progression of, 42—45 sweet spot in, 191-95 see also record industry music piracy, 5—6, 17, 22—27', 192-94 lawsuits against, 11—15, 22, 23-24,26,60, 194 revenues lost by, 13, 25, 26, 45, 192 see also P2P (peer-topeer) services Nant'ans, Apache, 20, 21, 22, 24,35,37,46,47,71, 91,92,99, 151-52, 205 Napster, 6, 13-14, 22, 24, 26, 41, 43,45, 154, 162, 192, 194, 205 Napster II, 24, 26 Nature, 74 Navajos, 151 NCSA Project, 69-72 Netcom, 31-34 Netscape, 69, 71-72, 162 network effect, 166-67, 202-3 Nevins, Tom, 15-21, 34, 35, 37, 110, 151,152 Newkirk, Ingrid, 138-39 Newmark, Craig, 6, 64-69, 92, 94, 202 newspaper industry, 68 New Times Corporation, 68 New United Motors Manufacturing, Inc.


pages: 315 words: 99,065

The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership by Richard Branson


barriers to entry, call centre, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, clean water, collective bargaining, Costa Concordia, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, friendly fire, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, index card, inflight wifi, Lao Tzu, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Northern Rock, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, trade route

PART TWO Chapter 6 DEFINING LEADERSHIP And its multiple myths ‘Leadership is the ability to hide your panic from others.’ Lao Tzu (sixth-century Chinese philosopher) Based on the above, it seems that some key leadership skills haven’t changed much at all in fifteen centuries. I can definitely relate to this one but in the early days of Virgin, at least, I might have been more specific and tweaked it to read, ‘Leadership is the ability to hide one’s panic from your bank manager!’ Something I apparently failed to achieve immediately after the launch of Virgin Atlantic when, fearing we were getting in way over our heads, Coutts Bank pulled the plug on our account. Needless to say we quickly found other sources of more imaginative funding, but Lao Tzu would presumably have been less than impressed with my performance. ‘THE ANSWER’S YES.

No 118 Drake, Francis 293 Drolet, Phil 289 Drucker, Peter 127, 227, 240 Duende 48, 259 Duffell, Ian 182 Durex 55 easyJet 36 Ecomagination initiative 354 see also General Electric Econet Wireless Group 360 Edwards, Jamal 280–1 Eisenhower, Dwight D. 155 Elders, The 37–38, 118, 291 Emerson, Ralph Waldo 202 Enron 102 entrepreneurs 127–31 and established businesses 285–6 female 284–5 government help for 281–3 mentoring of 282, 283, 287–91 and ‘next big thing’ 369 nurturing of, early 276–9 and Pioneers programme 280–2 and social enterprises 360–4 and Virgin StartUp 283 VMP survey of 281–2 see also Branson Centres of Entrepreneurship Ertegun, Ahmet 135 Europe in Summer Café 275 ‘Everybody Better Off’ (EBO) 188, 190 see also Virgin Money ex-prisoners 23–4 Exorcist, The 135 Facebook 131 Fadell, Tony 365, 366–7, 368–70 Fair Labor Standards Act 220 Faris, Ron 111–12, 171, 173 Fast Company 350 Financial Times 21 FirstGroup 335–40 Fiver Challenge 277–8 focus groups, informal 54 Food Basket Farm 275 Fortune 285 Founders Forum For Good 363 Fox, Nick 337 Fox, Robyn 275–6 Friedkin, William 135 Frost, David 255 G-Tech 31 Gabriel, Peter 323 Gadhia, Jayne-Anne 186, 188, 257–8, 285 Gandhi, Mohandas (Mahatma) 2 Gardner, Roy 200 Gates, Bill 195 General Dynamics 285 General Electric 353, 354 General Motors 285 Genesis 323 Giving Pledge 195 Global Entrepreneurship Week 279 Global Impact Challenge 361–3 Godfrey, Brett 72, 141, 178, 236, 243–5 GoGo 312 Goizueta, Roberto 60–1 Golden Bull Award 106 Goldman Sachs 330–1 Goodwin, Jonnie 363 Google 130–1, 137, 138, 198–9, 288, 312 April Fool stunts by 268–9 Global Impact Challenge of 361–3 and Nest 369 and Project Oxygen 214 Google Maps 310–11 Griffiths, Martin 338 Hail Merry Seasoned Nut Blend 286 Haji-Ioannou, Stelios 36–7 Happiness Advantage, The (Achor) 259–60 Harvard Business Review 322 Hastings, Reed 56, 57–8 Helen (RB’s assistant) 338 Hemingway, Ernest 86, 104 Herwald, Kurt 231 hiring: bartender who became airport manager 250–1 candidates from straitjacketed environment 210–12 and capability vs expertise 203–4 and character 202–3 cleaner who became station manager 249–50 and CV 203 and first impressions 204–5 as number-one priority 197–200 and promoting from within 205–6, 212 and retaining staff 213–14 HIV 55 HMV 181 Hoare, David 237–8 Hoberman, Brent 363 Holly Baking Company’s Chocolate Chip Cookies 286 home working 221–3 Hope, Allie 62–3 Horton, Willie 301 Howard, Anthony 90–1 HP 312 Huffington, Arianna 357, 358, 359 Huffington Post 357, 359 Hyundai 174–5 I Love Lucy 214 IBM 285 Immelt, Jeffrey 354 ‘Insights into Organization’ 97 Intel 288 iPad 149 iPhone 149, 310, 366, 371 iPod 127, 262, 366, 368, 371 Isaacson, Walter 323 iTunes 126, 169, 182, 262, 315 Jagger, Mick 97 JBL 311–12 jetBlue 222 Jobs 365 Jobs, Steve 3, 68, 126, 130, 137, 148, 191, 262, 288, 365–8, 370 and collaboration 324 on creativity 323–4 movie about 365–6 Jones, Kelly 98 Jones, Kenton ‘Keny’ 208–9 Jones, Leesa 208–9 Junior Achievement (JA) 277, 278 Just In Time (JIT) 327 Kasbah Kamadot 209 Keep it simple, stupid (KISS) 80, 98–9 Kelleher, Herb 229, 231–4, 239 Keller, Helen 180 Kennedy, John F. 32 Kerby, Chuck 350 Kia 174–5 Kiam, Victor 64 King, Lord 42, 301 KISS (Keep it simple, stupid) 80, 98–9 Kodak 124–6 Krave Turkey Jerky 286 Kreeger, Craig 76–7 Laker Airways 200, 297–300 Laker, Freddie 200, 233, 287, 289, 297–300, 305–6 Lao Tzu 117 le Carré, John 5, 30 leadership: and accessibility 47–51 akin to bringing up children 26–7 and culture 228–9; see also culture and decisions, see decisions defined and discussed 117–30 and delegation 124, 195, 198, 199–200 and entrepreneurs 127–31 Lao Tzu’s take on 117 listening as ‘bum rap’ in 31 and ‘next big thing’ 369 and oratory 31–2 and passion, see passion and simplicity 79 and today’s teenagers 276 unexpected provenance of 13 Virgin research to define 43–7, 191 and women 284–5 Leal, Raul 63–4 Leica 125, 311 Lennon, John 5 Leonardo da Vinci 178–9 Liberty Global 162 Light Brigade, Charge of 295 light bulbs, low-energy 349–53 listening: and accessibility 47–51 and anagrams 30 interrupting as opposed to 39–40 and leadership, Virgin companies’ views on 45–6 merely hearing is not 33 notable practitioners of 37–8 and note-taking 5, 30–1, 33–7 and reading between the lines 41–2 and unspoken word 40–1 Lockheed Martin 285, 311 London Marathon 322 Lone Ranger 293 M-Pesa 354 McCall, Patrick 337 McCallum, Gordon 160, 161 McCue, Mike 365 McDonald’s 147 Machel, Graça 117 McKinsey & Co. 96–7 McLaughlin, Patrick 338, 339–40 Magnuss Ltd 355 Malaysia Airlines 342–3 Manchester United FC 258 Mandela, Nelson 37–8 Markkula, Mike 288 Masiyiwa, Strive 360 Masson, Margaret 344 Mates condoms 56 Maxwell, Gavin 85 Mayer, Marissa 107, 222, 285 biography of 307 mentoring 282, 283, 287–91 Microsoft 310, 315 mission statements 101–14 B Team’s 358 brevity of 105–6 Bristol-Myers’s 106–7 Enron’s 102 and Golden Bull Award 106 Virgin Active’s 108 Yahoo!’


pages: 262 words: 78,781

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William Braxton Irvine


Columbine, fear of failure, Lao Tzu

Furthermore, we should remember that one person’s being richer than another does not mean that the first person is better than the other.19 Likewise, we should keep in mind Seneca’s comment to Lucilius that “the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man.”20 (The Stoics, by the way, are not alone in making this observation. On the other side of the globe, for example, Lao Tzu observed that “he who knows contentment is rich.”)21 Ev e n t h o u g h s h e d o e s n ’ t pursue wealth, a Stoic might nevertheless acquire it. A Stoic will, after all, do what she can to make herself useful to her fellow humans. And thanks to her practice of Stoicism, she will be self-disciplined and single-minded, traits that will help her accomplish the tasks she sets for herself. As a result, she might be quite effective in helping others, and they might reward her for doing so.

Musonius, Lectures, 18A.6, 18B.3. 11. Musonius, Lectures, 19.5, 20.3. 12. Seneca, Ad Lucilium, XVI.8–9. 13. Seneca, Ad Lucilium, XC.19. Notes to Pages 178–200 293 14. Musonius, Lectures, 20.5, 20.7. 15. Seneca, Ad Lucilium, XC.16. 16. Seneca, “On Tranquillity,” VIII.9, IX.2–3. 17. Seneca, Ad Lucilium, V.5. 18. Epictetus, Handbook, 33, 39. 19. Epictetus, Handbook, 24, 44. 20. Seneca, Ad Lucilium, CVIII.11. 21. Lao Tzu, XXXIII. 22. Seneca, Ad Lucilium, V.5. 23. Seneca, “On the Happy Life,” XXIII.1, XX.3, XXVI.1. 24. Carus, 72–74. Sixteen 1. Tacitus, 16.21. 2. Epictetus, “Discourses,” I.i.31–32. 3. Seneca, “To Helvia,” V.6, VI.1, VI.4. 4. Seneca, “To Helvia,” VIII.3, XI.5. 5. Musonius, Lectures, 9.10. 6. Musonius, Lectures, 9.2. 7. Musonius, Lectures, 9.4. 8. Diogenes Laertius, “Diogenes,” VI.49.

New York: Bloomsbury, 2004. Johnson, Samuel. Johnson’s Dictionary: A Modern Selection. Edited by E. L. McAdam Jr. and George Milne. New York: Pantheon, 1963. Julius Capitolinus. “Marcus Antoninus: The Philosopher.” In Scriptores Historiae Augustae. Vol. 1. Translated by David Magie. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1921. Kekes, John. Moral Wisdom and Good Lives. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1995. Lao Tzu. Tao Te Ching. Translated by D. C. Lau. New York: Penguin, 1963. Lecky, William Edward Hartpole. History of European Morals: From Augustus to Charlemagne. New York: George Braziller, 1955. Works Cited 299 Long, A. A. Epictetus: A Stoic and Socratic Guide to Life. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002. Lutz, Cora. Introduction to “Musonius Rufus: ‘The Roman Socrates.’ ” Yale Classical Studies. Vol. 10.


pages: 524 words: 143,596

The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart


call centre, East Village, fear of failure, impulse control, land reform, Lao Tzu, Socratic dialogue, the medium is the message

From children to men we cage ourselves in patterns to avoid facing new problems and possible failure; after a while men become bored because there are no new problems. Such is life under the fear of failure. Fail! Lose! Be bad! Play, risk, dare. Thus, I exulted that evening of Larry's first diceday. I became determined to make Larry and Evie fearless, frameless, egoless humans. Larry would be the first egoless man since Lao-Tzu. I would let him play the role of father of the household and Evie the mother. I'd let them reverse roles. Sometimes they would play parents as they perceive us to be and at other times as they think parents should be. We could all play television heroes and comic-strip characters. And Lil and I every conscientious parent - would change his personality every other day or week. `I am he who can play many games.'

He liked the game; he was able to follow the commands of the dice even when they conflicted with his normal patterns, but after about three hours he simply wanted to play with his trucks and didn't want to risk this pleasure to the dice. Since I have often felt the same way (although not about trucks), I explained that the dice man game should only be played when he felt like it. I emphasized, however, that when he did play he must always follow the dice. Unfortunately, my efforts during the succeeding two days to turn Larry into Lao-Tzu were confounded by his child's good sense; he gave the dice only extremely pleasant alternatives - ice cream, movies, zoos, horsey, trucks, bikes, money. He began to use the dice as a treasure chest. I finally told him that the dice man game always had to provide risk, that slightly bad choices had to be there too. Surprisingly he agreed. I invented for him that week a dice game which has since become one of our classics: Russian roulette.

The-change from I-am-he-who-is-a-good-son to I-am-he-who-is-a-goodbuddy constitutes a revolution. On the other hand, if the man's buddies approve fidelity one year and infidelity the next, and the man changes from faithful husband to rake, no revolution has occurred. The class tale remains intact; only the policy on a minor matter has been altered. In first becoming the dice man, my audience was changed from my peers in psychiatry to Blake, Nietzsche, Lao-Tzu. My goal was to destroy all sense of an audience; to become without values, evaluators, without desires: to be inhuman, all-inclusive. God. In moving the dice man into sexual research, however, what I aspired to was a piece of ass. Zeus wished to disguise himself as beast and fornicate with a beautiful woman. But my equal desire, as strong as lust, was to become the audience for our subjects. As audience I might be able to create an atmosphere of all-embracing permissiveness, one in which the virgin would feel free to express her latest lech; the queer to express his latent desire for cunt.


pages: 202 words: 62,199

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown


Albert Einstein, Clayton Christensen, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, double helix,, endowment effect, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, microcredit, minimum viable product, North Sea oil, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs

Your answer to that fifth and crucial question will point you to buffers—perhaps adding another 20 percent to the project’s budget, or getting a PR person on board to handle any potential negative press, or calling a board meeting to manage shareholder expectations—that you can create to safeguard you against unknowable events. Essentialists accept the reality that we can never fully anticipate or prepare for every scenario or eventuality; the future is simply too unpredictable. Instead, they build in buffers to reduce the friction caused by the unexpected. CHAPTER 16 SUBTRACT Bring Forth More by Removing Obstacles TO ATTAIN KNOWLEDGE ADD THINGS EVERY DAY. TO ATTAIN WISDOM SUBTRACT THINGS EVERY DAY. —Lao-tzu In the business parable The Goal, Alex Rogo is a fictional character who is overwhelmed by the responsibility of turning around a failing production plant within three months.1 At first he does not see how this is possible. Then he is mentored by a professor who tells him he can make incredible progress in a short time if only he can find the plant’s “constraints.” Constraints, he is told, are the obstacles holding the whole system back.

So now, as he gets to the door of his house, he applies what he calls “the pause that refreshes.” This technique is easy. He stops for just a moment. He closes his eyes. He breathes in and out once: deeply and slowly. As he exhales, he lets the work issues fall away. This allows him to walk through the front door to his family with more singleness of purpose. It supports the sentiment attributed to Lao Tzu: “In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.” Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk who has been called the “world’s calmest man,” has spent a lifetime exploring how to live in kairos, albeit by a different name. He has taught it as mindfulness or maintaining “beginner’s mind.” He has written: “Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes.”2 This focus on being in the moment affects the way he does everything.


pages: 559 words: 174,054

The World of Caffeine: The Science and Culture of the World's Most Popular Drug by Bennett Alan Weinberg, Bonnie K. Bealer


British Empire, clean water, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Haight Ashbury, Honoré de Balzac, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Lao Tzu, placebo effect, spice trade, trade route, traveling salesman

However, because the earliest extant source for this tea tribute is the Treatise on the Kingdom of Huayang, by Chang Ju, a history of the era written in A.D. 347,3 the story is not very helpful in establishing that tea was used in China before the first millennium B.C. To Lao Tzu (600–517 B.C.), the founder of Taoism, is ascribed, by a Chinese text of the first century B.C., the notion that tea is an indispensable constituent of the elixir of life. The Taoist alchemists, his followers, who sought the secret of immortality, certainly believed this, dubbing tea “the froth of the liquid jade.” (Unlike their Western counterparts, who searched for both the secret of eternal life and the power to turn base metal into gold, the Chinese alchemists confined their quest to improving health and extending life.) The custom of offering tea to guests, still honored in China, supposedly began in an encounter that occurred toward the end of Lao Tzu’s life. An embittered and disillusioned man, the spiritual leader, having seen his teachings dishonored in his own land and foreseeing a national decline, drove westward on a buffalo-cart, intending to leave China for the wild wastes of Ta Chin in central Asia, an area that later became part of the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire.

Although the varying components of this potion included botanicals such as ginseng and mushrooms, and elements such as gold and mercury (lethal metals that were also a favored part of humoral treatments through at least the eighteenth century in the West), in every Taoist recipe tea, perhaps because the stimulating effects of caffeine conferred feelings of strength and power, invariably topped the list of ingredients in the brew. The Chinese Tea Ceremony: A Confluence of Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian Streams Lao Tzu and his followers regarded tea as a natural agent that, properly used, could help beneficially transform the individual human organism and, as such, was a tool for the advancement of personal salvation. Confucius, who lived at about the same time as Lao Tzu, saw in the ceremonial use of tea a powerful reinforcement of the conventionalized relationships indispensable to an ethical society. Confucius ennobled the ancient Chinese li, or “ritual etiquette,” into a moral imperative. He taught that, when conjoined with the requisite attitude of sincere respect, conduct guided by decorous ceremony such as ritual tea drinking cultivated the person and allowed him to live harmoniously with his fellows.

An embittered and disillusioned man, the spiritual leader, having seen his teachings dishonored in his own land and foreseeing a national decline, drove westward on a buffalo-cart, intending to leave China for the wild wastes of Ta Chin in central Asia, an area that later became part of the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire. The customs inspector at the Han Pass border gate turned out to be Yin Hsi, an elderly sage who had waited his entire life in the previously unsatisfied expectation of encountering an avatar. Recognizing the holy fugitive and rising to the occasion, Yin Hsi stopped Lao Tzu, served him tea, and, while they drank, persuaded him to commit his teachings to the book that became the revered Tao Te Ching, or The Book of Tao. Probably what was genuinely the earliest reference in Chinese literature adducing the capacity of tea, through what we now know is the agency of caffeine, to improve mental operations is found in the Shin Lun, by Hua Tuo (d. 220 B.C.). In this book, the famous physician and surgeon, credited with discovering anesthesia, taught that drinking tea improved alertness and concentration, a clear reference to what we today understand as caffeine’s most prominent psychoactive effects: “To drink k’u t’u [bitter t’u] constantly makes one think better.”4 Awareness of caffeine’s efficacy as a mood elevator was also evidenced in Liu Kun, governor of Yan Chou and a leading general of the Qin dynasty (221–206 B.C.), who wrote to his nephew, asking to be sent some “real tea” to alleviate his depression.


pages: 290 words: 75,973

The Cloudspotter's Guide by Gavin Pretor-Pinney


Albert Einstein, haute couture, Isaac Newton, Lao Tzu, Ralph Waldo Emerson

(Our eyes are less sensitive to the shorter, violet-looking wavelengths, so the blue colour is dominant.) It also explains why sunsets are deeper and redder after volcanic eruptions. All the additional particles thrown up into the atmosphere scatter even more of the short and middle wavelengths, leaving a narrower spectrum of red-looking wavelengths. Red clouds were considered particularly favourable signs in Ancient China. Apparently, one emanated from Lao Tzu, the philosopher credited with founding Taoism. Red and yellow were the colours of ‘cosmic differentiation’, and coloured clouds would come down upon the mounds on which acceptable sacrifices had been offered. In fact, Huang-ti, the mythical Yellow Emperor who supposedly ruled in the third millennium BC, was considered to ‘govern all things, thanks to the clouds’. No less crucially, the colours of the clouds can also give cloudspotters an indication of their relative heights in the atmosphere.

Hildebrand Hindus Ho Chi Minh Trail Hodgkinson, Neville Howard, Luke Huang-ti humilis: Cumulus clouds Hunks, Jan Van hurricanes Cumulonimbus clouds and ice crystals: columns Cumulonimbus clouds and falling formation growth needles optical effects and ozone layer and precipitation and rime deposits sectored plates stellar dendrites ice fog ice pellets ice spikules icing nuclei India International Center for Lightning Research and Testing International Cloud Atlas International Meteorological Conference International Year of the Cloud Internet intortus: Cirrus clouds inversion: cloud formation and Iran Iranian Space Agency Iris Islam Italy Ixion Jansen, Dave Japan Jelleff, Ken jellyfish Jesus Christ jet streams Jones, Dr Lucy Joseph Judaism Keats, John Kelvin–Helmholtz wave cloud Kenya Kern halo King of Clouds see Cumulonimbus clouds king mackerel Krakatoa Kubera labarum lacunosus: Altocumulus clouds Cirrocumulus clouds Stratocumulus clouds Lake Keepit Soaring Club Lamarck, Jean-Baptiste landspouts Langmuir, Irving Lao Tzu Laos Laputa latent heat lava lamps lenticularis: Altocumulus clouds Cirrocumulus clouds Stratocumulus clouds Licinius, Emperor light wave interference lightning: ball bolts differ cause of cloud-to-air cloud-to-cloud cloud-to-ground Cumulonimbus clouds and fork in-cloud nature of questions about return stroke routes sheet Loogatha, Netta Lowell, James Russell Lowell, Maria White Lucretius (Titus Lucretius Carus De Rerum Natura Luzhkov, Yuri Lymon, Frankie Lyon Lyons, Walt McCloud, Mrs mackerel mackerel skies see also Cirrocumulus mamma cloud formations Mantegna, Andrea: Minerva Expelling the Vices from the Grove of Virtue St Sebastian ‘mare’s tails’ Marley, Bob Mary, Virgin Masai tribes Maxentius, Emperor mediocris: Cumulus clouds mesosphere meteorologists: cloud committee D-Day landings and work of Meteosat-5 weather satellite Milton, John Mitchell, Joni mock suns see sundogs Mongols monsoon rains Montreal Moon: cloud identification and coronae halo phenomena irisation Morning Glory: formation gliders and length occurrence speed surfing unpredictability Moscow mountains nacreous clouds Nakaya, Fujiko Napoleon I, Emperor Naranachil, Dawn NASA Nature nebulosus: Cirrostratus clouds Stratus clouds Nephelokokkygia Neuchâtel, Lake Newton, Isaac Ngai Nimbostratus clouds: altitude Altostratus and appearance Cumulonimbus clouds and description fame, lack of identifying pannus clouds and precipitation shape species unknown varieties nimbus: meaning of nimbus clouds nimbus haloes Nixon, President Richard noctilucent clouds Noland, Dr Bob Norway oceans: clouds and opacus: Altocumulus clouds Altostratus clouds Stratocumulus clouds Stratus clouds optical effects Osaka’s World Fair Ovid ozone layer paintings pannus clouds parhelia see also sundogs parhelic circle Parianya Parry arc Pascal, Blaise Perkons perlucidus: Altocumulus clouds Stratocumulus clouds Philostratus photography Piero della Francesca: Legend of the True Cross pileus clouds Pittsburg Pliny the Elder Poland polar front polar regions Poole, Paul Popeye Project praecipitatio clouds Pratt, Geoff precipitation: Cumulonimbus clouds forms of Stratus clouds see also hail, rain, snow pyrocumulus radiation radiation fog radiatus: Altocumulus clouds Altostratus clouds Cirrus clouds Cumulus Stratocumulus clouds Raiden rain: Altostratus clouds and Cumulonimbus clouds and Cumulus clouds and drops’ size explanation of freezing low pressure and monsoons Nimbostratus clouds rainbows and Stratocumulus clouds and Stratus clouds see also cloud seeding rainbows raindrops: shape Rankin, Lt.


pages: 211 words: 69,380

The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman


experimental subject, fear of failure, Kibera, Lao Tzu, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, science of happiness, Steve Jobs, traveling salesman, World Values Survey

The negative path to happiness, then, is a different kind of path. But it is also a path to a different kind of destination. Or maybe it makes more sense to say that the path is the destination? These things are excruciatingly hard to put into words, and the spirit of negative capability surely dictates that we do not struggle too hard to do so. ‘A good traveller has no fixed plans,’ says the Chinese sage Lao Tzu, ‘and is not intent upon arriving.’ There could be no better way to make the journey. Acknowledgements WRITING THIS BOOK AFFORDED me many opportunities to test its arguments by confronting uncertainty, anxiety, the prospect of failure, and occasionally blind terror. I am grateful that I didn’t have to rely on positive-thinking affirmations to deal with this, but benefited instead from the skills and time of some extraordinary people.

‘He will never come at a truth’: Quoted in Jacob Wigod, ‘Negative Capability and Wise Passiveness’, PMLA 67 (1952): 383-90. ‘openture’: All Paul Pearsall quotations are from Awe: The Delights and Dangers of Our Eleventh Emotion (Deerfield Beach, Florida: Health Communications, 2007). ‘Proficiency and the results of proficiency’ Aldous Huxley, Complete Essays 1939-1956, 225. ‘A good traveller has no fixed plans’: Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching: A New English Version, interpreted by Stephen Mitchell (New York: Harper Collins, 1991), 27.


pages: 499 words: 152,156

Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos


conceptual framework, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, Deng Xiaoping, East Village, financial independence, Gini coefficient, income inequality, indoor plumbing, land reform, Lao Tzu, low skilled workers, market fundamentalism, Mohammed Bouazizi, Plutocrats, plutocrats, rolodex, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, transcontinental railway, Washington Consensus, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, young professional

Then I saw that her relatives hoisted her chair while she hobbled up and down each marble stairway, and rolled her in front of the masterpieces. By nightfall, another day of touring Europe’s sights had kindled a sense of appreciation, albeit with a competitive streak. While we waited for tables, at a Chinese restaurant, Zhu brought up the Zhou dynasty (1046–256 B.C.E.), the era that produced Confucius, Lao-tzu, and other pillars of Chinese thought. “Back then, we were damn good!” Zhu told a group of us. His wife, Wang Jianxin, rolled her eyes. “Here we go again,” she said. Her husband was wearing a recently purchased Eiffel Tower baseball cap with blinking battery-powered lights. He turned to me in search of a fresh audience. “Really, during the Zhou dynasty we were practically the same as ancient Rome or Egypt!”

Tang had invited some friends to join us for lunch, at Fat Brothers Sichuan Restaurant, and afterward we all climbed the stairs to his room. He lived alone in a sixth-floor walk-up, a studio of less than seventy-five square feet that could have been mistaken for a library storage room occupied by a fastidious squatter. Books covered every surface, and great mounds listed from the shelves above his desk. His collections encompassed, more or less, the span of human thought: Plato leaned against Lao-tzu, Wittgenstein, Bacon, Fustel de Coulanges, Heidegger, the Koran. When Tang wanted to widen his bed by a few inches, he laid plywood across the frame and propped up the edges with piles of books. Eventually books overflowed the room, and they stood outside his front door in a wall of cardboard boxes. Tang slumped into his desk chair. I asked if he had any idea that his video would be so popular.

Justice Ministry, Chinese Kapoor, Anish Kawasaki Heavy Industries Keller, Helen Kennedy, Robert Kent State Khrushchev, Nikita kidney sales Kim Jong-il King, Martin Luther, Jr. Kraft Krugman, Paul Kundera, Milan Kung Fu Panda problem Kweichow Moutai labor unions LaHood, Ray Lake of Great Peace Lam, Desmond Lama Temple Lantos, Tom Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice Lao She Lao-tzu Lasswell, Harold Latest Must-Read for Personnel Going Abroad, The Lau Ming-yee Law Protecting the Disabled, The Lee, Kim Lee Kuan Yew Leibniz, Gottfried Lei Feng Lei Zhengfu Lenin, Vladimir Leung Man-tou Leviathan Lewis, Arthur Lhasa Li, Mr. Liang Qichao Liao Ran Liao Zhenzhu liberalism Liberty Leading the People Li Bing Libya Li Cheng Li Chengpeng Li Datong Li Dehui Li Fan Li Jianli Li Ling Lin Lin, Wang-sung Lin Gu Linguang Wu Lin Huoshu Link, Perry Lin Qingfei Lin Yifu (Lin Zhengyi); China Center for Economic Research founded by; defection of; made chief economist at World Bank; MBA program cofounded by; official file on; Washington Consensus disdained by Lin Yutang Lin Zhijun Lippmann, Walter Li Suqiao literacy rates Li Tiantian Little Red Book Liu, Lydia H.


pages: 466 words: 127,728

The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System by James Rickards


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, complexity theory, computer age, credit crunch, currency peg, David Graeber, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, Edward Snowden, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, George Akerlof, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, jitney, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, labour mobility, Lao Tzu, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market design, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, reserve currency, risk-adjusted returns, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, Stuxnet, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, working-age population, yield curve

Conversely, an ability to centralize politically has prevented thousands of local nodes from devolving into an agrarian mosaic, disparate and disconnected. China ebbs and flows but never disappears. Recognizing the Chinese history of centralization, disintegration, and reemerging order is indispensible to understanding China today. Western financial analysts often approach China with an exaggerated confidence in market data and not enough historical perspective to understand its cultural dynamics. The Zhou Dynasty philosopher Lao Tzu expressed the Chinese sense of history in the Tao Te Ching—“Things grow and grow, but each goes back to its root.” Appreciating that view is no less important today. The centralized ancient dynasties include the Zhou, from around 1100 B.C.; the Qin, from 221 B.C.; and the Han, which immediately followed the Qin and lasted until A.D. 220. In the middle period of Chinese civilization came the centralized Sui Dynasty in A.D. 581 and the Tang Dynasty, which followed the Sui in A.D. 618.

., 85, 268, 269 Knight Capital computer debacle, 60, 63, 296–97 Knot, Klaas, 233 Korea, 202 Kos, Dino, 272–73 Kosovo, 136 Krugman, Paul, 117–18 on myth of Chinese growth, 94, 95, 96 myth that gold caused market panics and, 224 sticky-wage theory and, 124, 131, 134 Kuroda, Haruhiko, 161 Kuwait, 152, 153 Kyrgyzstan, 151 labor-capital factor input model of economic growth, 94–95 labor-management relations, 123–24 labor mobility, 125 Lagarde, Christine, 144, 148, 191, 192, 194–95, 198, 205, 206 land, as investment, 299 Lao Tzu, 90 Latvia, 136. See also BELLs (Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) lease arrangements, gold, 275, 284 Lehman Brothers, 77, 103, 130 Lenin, V. I., 7 leverage, 250 bank’s use of, 80, 188, 194, 196 of IMF, 201–6 paper gold transactions and, 275 Levitt, Steve, 32–33 Lew, Jack, 195, 196 Lie, David T. C., 92 Lipton, David, 194–95, 196, 198 “Liquidation of Government Debt, The” (Reinhart and Sbrancia), 183 liquidity trap, 246–47 Lisbon Treaty, 117 Lithuania.

See also Russia Spaak, Paul-Henri, 116 Spain, 128, 134, 153 special drawing rights (SDRs), 1, 3, 12, 155, 206–214 creation of, 209–10 deflation prevention as purpose of, 213–14 dollar index weakness and, 210–11 as emergency liquidity source, 211, 213 issuances of, 210–11 as money, 207 new global gold-backed SDR, structuring of, 237–42 as potential future reserve currency, 211–14, 292–93 valuation of, 210, 236 specialist firms, 18 spillover effects, of national policy, 193, 194, 198 Stamm, Luzi, 232 State Administration for Foreign Exchange (SAFE), 126–27 state-owned enterprises (SOEs), 97–98, 107 state theory of money (chartalism), 168–69 Stein, Jeremy, 188, 189, 249–50, 251 Stewart, Martha, 25 Stewart, Rod, 52 sticky wage theory, 130–31, 134 Stiglitz, Joseph, 117–18 stimulus plan, Obama’s, 174 stochastic models, 269 stock bubbles, 75 stock market crash, risk of, 250 Strauss-Kahn, Dominique, 191, 204 structural downturns, 197–98 student loan bubble, 247–49 subsidiarity principle, 113–14, 118 Sui Dynasty, 90, 91 Summers, Larry, 195, 196 suspicious trading, spotting, 32 sustainable debt, 171–72, 176–80 swaps asset, in derivatives strategies, 80–81 central bank arrangements, 273 collateral, 188 gold, 275 SWIFT, 39 U.S.-Iran financial war and, 54, 56 Swiss Army, 59 Swiss Finance Institute, 23 Switzerland, 202, 232–33 Syria, 57 Syrian Electronic Army, 59 system crashes, 296–97 systemic risk, 11–12, 81, 188, 249–50, 251, 259, 270 Taiping Rebellion, 91 Tajikistan, 151 Tang Dynasty, 90 TAO (Office of Tailored Access Operations), 53–54 Tao Te Ching (Lao Tzu), 90 tapering, 249–50 TARP bailout, 62 Tauss, Randy, 28–29, 35, 37, 38, 39 Tavakoli, Janet, 2 taxes corporate rates, 122 deflation, impact of, 9, 259–60 Taylor, John B., 176 Taylor Rule, 176–77 Tea Party conservatives, 172–73, 205 technology, and economic growth, 95–96 Tenet, George, 28, 37 terrorist insider trading MARKINT and, 35–39 9/11 attacks and, 17–28 Project Prophesy and, 28–34 Thailand, 261 Theory of Moral Sentiments, The (Smith), 70 “Theory of Optimum Currency Areas, A” (Mundell), 125 Thirty Years War, 115 threats to U.S. dollar, 5–13 Tiananmen Square demonstrations, 92 Too Big to Fail (film), 3 Toyota, 82 Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917, 295 Treasury, U.S.


pages: 330 words: 88,445

The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance by Steven Kotler


Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Clayton Christensen, data acquisition, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, fear of failure, Google Earth, haute couture, impulse control, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, life extension, Maui Hawaii, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, risk tolerance, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Walter Mischel, X Prize

In esoteric terms, flow’s tendency toward disruption is the reason it could be considered a “left-hand path.” A “right-hand path” is a path of orthodoxy. It’s cut, dry, and filled with “thou shalt nots.” On a right-hand path, we follow the rules and do what we’re told and no questions asked. This may sound dull, but right-hand paths have a very long history of keeping us safe. A “left-hand path,” meanwhile, is an ecstatic path and mostly gray. It’s little guidance and less security. Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism, warned that a left-hand path is best never begun, and once begun, must absolutely be finished. But how to finish such a path? We have a vast gap in our knowledge. Our society has spent centuries waging war against torment. When we are depressed, we know how to fight for happiness. When we are ill, we have guidebooks toward health. When we are loveless, jobless, hopeless, not smart enough, not skilled enough, not good enough, we now have colossal industries and institutions designed to teach us to strive and seek.

See work Jones, Jeremy, 153–57, 158–59, 165–66 Jonsson, Mads “Big Nads,” xvi Jung, Carl, 44 Kalama, Dave, 37–39 Kao Yang (emperor), 59 kayaking records, xiii–xiv, 93–94, 95, 108 skydive-, 143 Stikine, 94–97, 103–4, 106–8 Kelly, Craig, 166 Kerbox, Buzzy, 24 kids, 171–73, 177–79 Kittinger, Joe, 187–88 Knievel, Evel, xiii Krack, Kirk, 110–11 Kramer, Art, 63 Lake Tahoe. See Squaw Valley Landy, John, 174 Lao Tzu, 164 lateralization, 123–26 learning from deathly mistakes, 166–67 flow, in school, 178, 216 growth mindset and, 119, 124–26 Montessori, 178, 221 prediction and “chunking” for, 64–65 shortcuts to, 86–87 speed and longevity, 192–93 Lesser, Rob, 95–96 lifestyle, 77–78, 129 Lillard, Angeline, 178 Limb, Charles, 50, 179 listening, 133 Lopez, Gerry, 37 love, 69 Luks, Allan, 98 macroflow, 31 magnetic resonance imaging.


pages: 297 words: 98,506

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales


business climate, butterfly effect, complexity theory, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, impulse control, Lao Tzu, loose coupling, Louis Pasteur, V2 rocket

It can be seen as a type of survival training, for if there is no food, no water, no way, a person has already practiced sitting still and making the best of the situation. He’ll have confidence in his ability to survive it. The survival lessons that apply today are ancient. The Tao Te Ching is broken into two parts, “Integrity,” and “The Way,” which can be thought of as the two halves of surviving anything. Lao-tzu’s book is a handbook for a ruler, but it is also a handbook for the brain. An imbalance of the brain’s functions leads us into trouble, and a triumph of balance gets us out. I’ve found similar lessons in Epictetus, Herodotus, Thucydides, the Bible, the Bhagavad Gītā. “Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new?” says Ecclesiastes. But there are always new people who haven’t heard that there’s nothing new under the sun.

“Basic Emotions, Rationality, and Folk Theory,” Cognition and Emotion, 6, 201–223 (1992). Kiley, Deborah Scaling, and Meg Noonan. Untamed Seas. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1994. Kilhstrom, J. F. “The Cognitive Unconscious,” Science, 237 (1987). Krakauer, Jon. Into Thin Air. New York: Villard Books, 1997. Kübler-Ross, Elizabeth. On Death and Dying. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1969. Lao-tzu. Tao Te Ching, trans. Victor H. Mair. New York: Bantam Books, 1990. Leach, John. Survival Psychology. New York: New York University Press, 1994. LeDoux, Joseph. The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996. ———. The Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are. New York: Viking, 2002. Leschak, Peter M. Ghosts of the Fireground. New York, HarperCollins, 2002.


pages: 233 words: 75,712

In Defense of Global Capitalism by Johan Norberg


Asian financial crisis, capital controls, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Glaeser, Gini coefficient, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, Lao Tzu, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Naomi Klein, new economy, open economy, profit motive, race to the bottom, rising living standards, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, union organizing

Many will be tempted to take shortcuts, and bureaucrats will oblige in 69 return for generous bribes, especially in poor countries where salaries are low and regulatory systems more or less chaotic. The easiest way of corrupting a nation through and through is to demand that citizens get bureaucratic permission for production, for imports, for exports, for investments. As the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu declared more than two and a half millennia ago, ‘‘The more laws are promulgated, the more numerous thieves and bandits become.’’ Economic freedom reduces corruption 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 (most free) 5432 (least free) (Freedom from corruption, by Transparency International,s rating). 2.55 3.43 3.88 4.96 7.41 The countries of the world, divided into fifths by degrees of economic freedom (1 most corruption, 10 least corruption) Source: James Gwartney and Robert Lawson, eds., Economic Freedom of the World 2001 (Vancouver: Fraser Institute, 2001).

., 89 Kenya equality in, 86 lack of growth and poverty, 132 ‘‘vampire state,’’ 106 Khatuun, Halima, 279 King, Martin Luther, Jr., 202 Klein, Naomi, 220, 222, 263 Kohl, Helmut, 222 Kraay, Aart, 79, 96, 97 Krugman, Paul, 138, 194 Kuttner, Robert, 15 Kuwait, water supply, 35 Kuznets, Simon, 86 Labor-intensive industries, 172 Labor organizations, transfer of technology to developing countries and, 196 Land ownership private, 235–36 Russia, 94–95 Land socialism, 94–95 Lao Tzu, 70 320 Latin America crisis of 1980s, 252 dictatorships, 269, 272 hunger, 31 lack of growth and poverty, 132 ‘‘open’’ economy, 103 in world economy, 289 Legal codes protecting enterprise and competition, East Asia, 100 ‘‘Liberal’’ and ‘‘libertarian,’’ term use, 14n Liberal market economy, 16 See also Economic liberalization Liberal society and the right to choose, 18 Liberalization freedom of choice and, 278–85 necessary institutions for, 265 self-determination and, 286–91 See also Economic liberalization Liberalization of thinking/thought, 9, 290 Liberty.


The Future of Money by Bernard Lietaer


agricultural Revolution, banks create money, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, clean water, complexity theory, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, diversification, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Gilder, German hyperinflation, global reserve currency, Golden Gate Park, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the telephone, invention of writing, Lao Tzu, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Norbert Wiener, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, post-industrial society, price stability, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, the market place, the payments system, trade route, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, working poor

However, when these three capabilities are gathered in one team, they can generate credibility that is crucial for a successful complementary currency Remember, money ultimately is about trust, and thus about the trustworthiness of the people who will be promoting the system. It will also automatically determine the scale and nature of the project that becomes possible. If the leadership has credibility only within a small area of town, work at that scale. If it has the capacity to mobilise a whole region complementary currency system of the size of the region becomes possible. To conclude with this aspect, Lao-Tzu's comment is particularly n for grass-root movements: 'The best leadership is when at the end people claim they did it themselves.' VALID COMPLEMENTARY CURRENCIES DESIGN The last critical step is to choose among- the wide variety of complementary currency systems that are available as prototypes today, the one that best fit: your own requirements. The following table should help in such a selection.

Fly-fishing requires similar 'soft eyes encompassing both the spot where the line is dropped and the entire river, in contrast with the 'hard eyes' used for bait-fishing where the focus remains only on the float. People who are good at bird or whale watching report exactly the same process. In short, Taoists are fly-fishing, while our very language tends to keep us stuck with bait-fishing (see sidebar on Lao- Tzu). For example, how many of you have read correctly the title of this section: 'AU is about balance'. Have you automatically read 'it is all about balance', which has a different meaning? Or did you just decide that it was a typo? If this text were written in Chinese ideograms, its readers would immediately understand what is referred to: the whole exists only because of the balance between the two parts.


pages: 606 words: 87,358

The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization by Richard Baldwin


3D printing, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, air freight, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, Branko Milanovic, buy low sell high, call centre, Columbian Exchange, Commodity Super-Cycle, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, domestication of the camel, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial intermediation, George Gilder, global supply chain, global value chain, Henri Poincaré, imperial preference, industrial robot, invention of agriculture, invention of the telegraph, investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Dyson, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lao Tzu, low skilled workers, market fragmentation, New Economic Geography, out of africa, paper trading, Pax Mongolica, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, Simon Kuznets, Skype, Snapchat, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, trade route, Washington Consensus

Policymakers in East Asia, Central Europe, and Central America have been trying out various policies for a couple of decades. Now, new datasets are emerging to guide more systematic thinking about which of these policies works best . PART V Looking Ahead Despite the best efforts of the smartest humans, no one has found a way to know the future. This ineluctable fact has caused many thinkers to shy away from making predictions. As the Confucian poet Lao Tzu put it: “Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, don’t have knowledge.” But this is wrongheaded. We have a duty to think hard about what may be so as to better prepare society for the changes that may come. As Henri Poincaré wrote in The Foundations of Science, “It is far better to foresee even without certainty than not to foresee at all.”1 Following his wise words, this book’s closing chapter puts forth some conjectures about how globalization may change in the years to come.

See workers and jobs join strategy, 250 Jones, Ronald, 137 juggernaut effect, 69–71, 73–74 Kaesong syndrome, 270–271, 274 “Kaleidoscopic globalization,” 11 Katz, Larry, 295 Kearney, Melissa, 295 Kenya, 72 Kindleberger, 66 Kindleberger, Charles, 64–65 Knöpfel, Adrian, 181 know-how (knowledge), 78. See also innovation; moving ideas knowledge, tacit, 229f, 230 “knowledge arbitrage,” 12 Korea, 72, 87, 94f, 95, 151, 159, 246–250, 248f, 269–271, 274. See also A7; I6; R11 Krugman, Paul, 127, 179, 195, 208–211, 225–226, 243 Kuznets, Simon, 55 Kuznets cycles, 61–62 labor services, 10 land, 120, 124, 138–139 Landes, David, 42 land transport, 211 Lao Tzu, 281 Latin America, 30f, 98, 99–101, 100f, 118f, 243. See also developing nations Leibenstein, Harvey, 256 Levinson, Marc, 76 liberal policies, 55, 56t, 131, 160, 184–185, 218. See also free trade Lindauer, David, 243, 244 livestock, domestication of, 30 local competition, 186–188, 188–189, 191–192 local market size, 184–185 location. See agglomeration (industrial clustering)/dispersion; geography, physical; New Economic Geography; offshoring Lorde, Audre, 83 luck, 247 Lyons, Roger, 233 Macaulay, Vincent, 21–22 Maddison, Angus, 34, 37, 43f made-here-sold-there goods, 143, 150, 151, 173, 267 Making Global Value Chains Work for Development (Taglioni and Winkler), 272 Malaysia, 72, 159, 245, 246, 251–254, 253f Malthusian level, 43f management, 83–84 Mankiw, Greg, 221–222 manufacturing and.


pages: 96 words: 33,963

Decline of the English Murder by George Orwell


British Empire, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, Lao Tzu, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thorstein Veblen

Useless Toil Frederick Jackson Turner The Significance of the Frontier in American History Marcel Proust Days of Reading Leon Trotsky An Appeal to the Toiling, Oppressed and Exhausted Peoples of Europe Sigmund Freud The Future of an Illusion Walter Benjamin The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction George Orwell Books v. Cigarettes Albert Camus The Fastidious Assassins Frantz Fanon Concerning Violence Michel Foucault The Spectacle of the Scaffold Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching Writings from the Zen Masters Thomas More Utopia Michel de Montaigne On Solitude William Shakespeare On Power John Locke Of the Abuse of Words Samuel Johnson Consolation in the Face of Death Immanuel Kant An Answer to the Question: ‘What is Enlightenment?’ Joseph de Maistre The Executioner Thomas De Quincey Confessions of an English Opium Eater Arthur Schopenhauer The Horrors and Absurdities of Religion Abraham Lincoln The Gettysburg Address Karl Marx Revolution and War Fyodor Dostoyevsky The Grand Inquisitor William James On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings Robert Louis Stevenson An Apology for Idlers W.


pages: 634 words: 185,116

From eternity to here: the quest for the ultimate theory of time by Sean M. Carroll


Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Brownian motion, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, Columbine, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix,, gravity well, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Lao Tzu, lone genius, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener,, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Schrödinger's Cat, Slavoj Žižek, Stephen Hawking, stochastic process, the scientific method, wikimedia commons

If we take a piece of paper and burn it, letting the photons produced escape along with their energy, the resulting ashes will have a slightly lower mass (no matter how careful we are to capture all of them) than the combination of the original paper plus the oxygen it used to burn. E = mc2 isn’t just about atomic bombs; it’s a profound feature of the dynamics of energy all around us. 5 TIME IS FLEXIBLE The reason why the universe is eternal is that it does not live for itself; it gives life to others as it transforms. —Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching The original impetus behind special relativity was not a puzzling experimental result (although the Michelson-Morley experiment certainly was that); it was an apparent conflict between two preexisting theoretical frameworks.70 On the one hand you had Newtonian mechanics, the gleaming edifice of physics on which all subsequent theories had been based. On the other hand you had James Clerk Maxwell’s unification of electricity and magnetism, which came about in the middle of the nineteenth century and had explained an impressive variety of experimental phenomena.

See also entropy and arrow of time and baby universes model and black holes and Boltzmann brains and entropy and growth of structure and microscopic level and possibilism and space of states “Is it Possible to Create a Universe in the Laboratory by Quantum Tunneling?” (Farhi) Jackiw, Roman Johnson, George Johnson, Matthew kaons Kasner, Edward Kelvin, William Thomson, Lord Kelvin scale Kepler, Johannes Kerr, Roy kinetic energy kinetic theory Kleban, Matthew Kolmogorov complexity Landauer, Rolf Lao Tzu Laplace, Pierre-Simon Laplace’s Demon Large Hadron Collider (LHC) Lavoisier, Antoine Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory laws of nature laws of physics. See also specific forces and bouncing-universe cosmology and consciousness and entropy definition and irreversibility and memory and multiverse hypothesis and patterns and reversibility Lectures on Physics (Feynman) Lee, Tsung-Dao Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm Lemaître, Georges length contraction Leucippus life and the Boltzmann-Lucretius scenario and complexity definition of and energy budget of Earth and entropy and free energy and memory and multiverse hypothesis light light cones and the Big Bang and black holes and closed timelike curves described and the horizon problem and Newtonian space and the observable universe and time travel and white holes Linde, Andrei Liouville, Joseph Liouville’s Theorem locality location logarithms longitude Look at the Harlequins!

Augustine Stallman, Richard Standard Model Starobinsky, Alexander stars Star Trek stasis state of physical systems statistical mechanics acceptance of and black holes and coarse-graining and entropy and function of time and Loschmidt’s reversibility objection and multiverse model and prediction and Principle of Indifference and recurrence theorem Steady State theory of cosmology steam engines Stockum, Willem Jacob van Stoppard, Tom stopping time strange quarks Strine, Arno (fictional character) string theory Strominger, Andrew strong nuclear force structure formation Sun supercooling supergravity supermassive black holes supernovae superposition and arrow of time and decoherence and entanglement and the EPR paradox and interference and intrinsic quantum indeterminacy and many-world interpretation and Schrödinger’s Cat supersymmetry Susskind, Leonard Swann’s Way (Proust) the swerve (clinamen) symmetry and bouncing-universe cosmology and checkerboard world exercise and determinism and laws of nature and multiverse model and nature and parity and particle decay and special relativity and supersymmetry and time reversal and time-translation invariance synchronized repetition Szilárd, Leó ’t Hooft, Gerard tachyons Tao Te Ching (Lao Tzu) Tegmark, Max temperature and anisotropies and black holes and conservation of information and de Sitter space and energy budget of Earth and entropy and expansion of the universe and the horizon problem and inflationary cosmology and information Kelvin scale and Maxwell’s Demon and mixing of the Sun and thermal equilibrium and thermal fluctuation and useable energy temporal chauvinism tension tensors theology Théorie Analytique des Probabilités (Laplace) Theory of Everything thermal equilibrium thermal fluctuation thermodynamics.


pages: 661 words: 169,298

Coming of Age in the Milky Way by Timothy Ferris


Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Atahualpa, Cepheid variable, Chance favours the prepared mind, Commentariolus, cosmic abundance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, delayed gratification, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, Gary Taubes, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Henri Poincaré, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, Karl Jansky, Lao Tzu, Louis Pasteur, Magellanic Cloud, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, music of the spheres, planetary scale, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Wilhelm Olbers

Darwinian evolution, in indicating that all species of earthly life are related and that all arose from ordinary matter, made it clear that there is no wall dividing us from our fellow creatures on Earth, or from the planet that gave us all life—that we are such stuff as worlds are made of. The conviction that we are in some sense at one with the universe had of course been promulgated many times before, in other spheres of thought. Yahweh fashioned Adam out of dust; Heraclitus the Greek wrote that “all things are one;” Lao-tzu in China depicted man and nature alike as ruled by a single principle (“I call it the Tao”); and a belief in the unity of humankind with the cosmos was widespread among preliterate peoples, as evidenced by the Suquamish Indian chief Seattle, who declared on his deathbed that “all things are connected, like the blood which unites one family. It is all like one family, I tell you.” But there is something striking about the fact that the same general view has arisen from sciences that pride themselves on their clearheaded pursuit of objective, empirical fact.

The stage is set for the first amateur astronomer to discover a planet since 1781, when William Herschel discovered Uranus. It’s even possible that an amateur stargazer or a high-school science student will find the first planet beyond Earth that harbors life. We’re living in fascinating times. Stay tuned … Three philosophers came together to taste vinegar, the Chinese symbol for the spirit of life. First Confucius drank of it. “It is sour,” he said. Next, Buddha drank. He pronounced the vinegar bitter. Then Lao-tzu tasted it. He exclaimed, “It is fresh!” —Traditional Chinese tale, repeated by Niels Bohr For all my pains, I only beg this favor, that whenever you see the sun, the heavens, or the stars, you will think of me. —Bernard de Fontenelle GLOSSARY The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea. —Vladimir Nabokov ABT. Abbreviation employed in this book to mean “after the beginning of time,” which is here defined as the beginning of the expansion of the universe.

Time: 2,200 years Noteworthy Events: Systematic astronomy in Egypt, Babylonia, India, China. Time: 1,500 years Noteworthy Events: Sundial invented, in Egypt. Time: 1,000 years Noteworthy Events: Homer declaims the Odyssey. Time: 800 years Noteworthy Events: Olmec culture in Mexico. Time: 700 years Noteworthy Events: Hesiod, Works and Days. Time: 650 years Noteworthy Events: Mayan culture in Guatemala. Time: 600 years Noteworthy Events: Lao-tzu, Confucius, Buddha, Zoroaster; Old Testament in Hebrew. Time: 540 years Noteworthy Events: Pythagoras teaches that “all is number” and that nature is harmonious. Time: 450 years Noteworthy Events: Leucippus and Democritus propose that matter is made of indivisible entities, the atoms. Paradoxes of Zeno raise doubts about the concept of the infinitesimal. Time: 400 years Noteworthy Events: Plato teaches that the material world is but a shadow of a geometrically perfect reality.


pages: 696 words: 143,736

The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence by Ray Kurzweil


Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, cellular automata, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, Danny Hillis, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, fudge factor, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, information retrieval, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, the medium is the message, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Whole Earth Review, Y2K

To date, it remains somewhat unfashionable because of widespread recognition of the benefits of automation. Nonetheless, it lingers not far below the surface and will come back with a vengeance in the early twenty-first century. THEY HAVE A POINT, DON’T THEY? Sure, but a reflexive opposition to technology is not very fruitful in today’s world. It is important, however, to recognize that technology is power. We have to apply our human values to its use. THAT REMINDS ME OF LAO-TZU’S “KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.” Yes, technology and knowledge are very similar—technology can be expressed as knowledge. And technology clearly constitutes power over otherwise chaotic forces. Since war is a struggle for power, it is not surprising that technology and war are linked. With regard to the value of technology, think about the early technology of fire. Is fire a good thing? IT’S GREAT IF YOU WANT TO TOAST SOME MARSHMALLOWS.

Storrs handwriting Harries, Richard health care, see medicine heat Hesselink, Lambertus Hillis, W Daniel Ho, Chih-Ming Hodgson, Paul Hofstadter, Douglas on self-understanding holograms Homo erectus Homo habilis Homo sapiens Homo sapiens neanderthallensis Homo sapiens sapiens Hübener, Mark human(s): defining of MOSHs Human Genome Project humanoids humor jokes Huxley, Thomas Henry hypothalamus IBM identity: definition of “human” as function of pattern, vs. particles neural implants and and transfer of information following brain scan see also consciousness Iijima, Sumio image processing Improvisor Industrial Revolution Second information innovation insects integrated circuits Moore’s Law on, see Moore’s Law neurons and quantum effects in intelligence body and; see also body consciousness and defining density of duality of emergence of, and entropy of evolution; see also evolution and evolution of technology hardware of human vs. artificial individual vs. group knowledge and, see knowledge pattern recognition in, see pattern recognition relevance to rest of Universe time use as element of Turing Test and, see Turing Test see also artificial intelligence intelligence, paradigms for combining of evolutionary algorithms, see evolutionary algorithms knowledge and neural net, see neural nets recursion, see recursion intelligent assistants intelligent function internal states Internet commerce on computation harvesting proposal see also World Wide Web inventions Isaac, Randy I’ve Got a Secret Japan JAPE (Joke Analysis and Production Engine) Kaczynski, Theodore (Ted) Kasparov, Gary Deep Blue’s match with Kauffman, Stuart Kay, Alan Kazantzakis, Nikos Kelvin, William Thomson, Lord knowledge bases of built-in chunks of common sense computers’ acquisition of context and in evolution of technology human downloading of language and sharing of technology and see also learning Kocher, Paul Koko Koza, John Kroto, Harold Kuno, Susumu Kurzweil, Ray: highlights in life of past predictions made by Kurzweil Applied Intelligence Kurzweil Computer Products Kurzweil Cybernetic Poet Kurzweil Data Entry Machine Kurzweil Educational Systems Kurzweil Music Systems Kurzweil Reading Machine (KRM) Kurzweil Voice Kurzweil VoiceMed (Kurzweil Clinical Reporter) Landauer, Rolf language natural translating of Turing Test and language user interfaces (LUIs) LANs (local area networks) Lao-tzu Larson, Steve Latham, William Law of Accelerating Returns applied to computation applied to evolution brain scans and in flow chart quantum computing and scanning technologies and Universe and Law of Increasing Chaos Law of Increasing Entropy, see second law of thermodynamics Law of Time and Chaos laws of thermodynamics, see thermodynamics, laws of learning curve of in neural nets see also education; knowledge legal system Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm Leonardo da Vinci Lemout & Hauspie (L&H) Lewis.


pages: 405 words: 130,840

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt


crack epidemic, delayed gratification, feminist movement, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, invisible hand, job satisfaction, Lao Tzu, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Peter Singer: altruism, placebo effect, prisoner's dilemma, Ralph Waldo Emerson, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, the scientific method, ultimatum game, Walter Mischel

Meditation done every day for several months can help you reduce substantially the frequency of fearful, negative, and grasping thoughts, thereby improving your affective style. As B u d d h a said: "When a m a n knows the solitude of silence, and feels the joy of quietness, he is then free from fear and sin."35 Cognitive Therapy Meditation is a characteristically Eastern solution to the problems of life. Even before Buddha, the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu had said that the road to wisdom runs through calm inaction, desireless waiting. Western approaches to problems more typically involve pulling out a tool box and trying to fix what's broken. That was Lady Philosophy's approach with her many arguments, and reframing techniques. T h e toolbox was thoroughly modernized in the 1960s by Aaron Beck. Beck, a psychiatrist at the University of Pennsylvania, had been trained in the Freudian approach in which "the child is father to the man."

Employ your senses." ( H E N R Y D A V I D T H O R E A U , 1851)70 Even a future justice of the U . S . S u p r e m e C o u r t — a body devoted to reason—issued this opinion: "I think that, as life is action and passion, it is required of a man that he should share the passion and action of his time at peril of being judged not to have lived." ( O L I V E R W E N D E L L H O L M E S , J R . , I884)71 Buddha, Lao Tzu, and other sages of the East discovered a path to peace and tranquility, the path of letting go. They told us how to follow the path using meditation and stillness. Millions of people in the West have followed, and although few, if any, have reached Nirvana, many have found s o m e degree of peace, happiness, and spiritual growth. So I do not mean to question the value or relevance of Buddhism in the modern world, or the importance of working on yourself in an effort to find happiness.


pages: 391 words: 117,984

The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World by Jacqueline Novogratz


access to a mobile phone, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, business process, business process outsourcing, clean water, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, Hernando de Soto, Kibera, Lao Tzu, market design, microcredit, out of africa, Ronald Reagan, sensible shoes, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, transaction costs

And we know that despite his enterprise’s rapid growth, he is just getting started. And so are we. CHAPTER 14 BUILDING BRICK BY BRICK Go to the people: live with them, learn from them love them start with what they know build with what they have. But of the best leaders, when the job is done, the task accomplished, the people will say: “We have done it ourselves.” —LAO TZU In India it wasn’t a surprise to find entrepreneurs with enormous talent and drive focused on bringing basic services like health care, housing, and water to the poor. With more than a billion people, some of the best universities in the world, a powerful diaspora community, and a highly innovative health care industry, India seems to breed social entrepreneurs. I was far less certain of what we would find in Pakistan, an Islamic country characterized by the media as chaotic and overrun by terrorists and fundamentalists.

Sono, 247, 247–51, 277 Kigali (Rwanda) blue sweater in, 2–3 Central Prison in, 182–83 description of, 37–38 dinner party in, 39–40 embassies in, 39 food in, 106–7 Genocide Memorial Center in, 210 HIV in, 113 marketplace in, 58–59 Nairobi (Kenya) versus, 91 Novogratz and arriving, 36–37 broken finger of, 126–27 first flight to, 36 going-away party for, 127 holiday party of, 126 leaving, 113–14, 127–28 rental house in, 106–7 returning (1997), 162–63 robbery of house in, 107–11 postgenocide, 179–80, 199 reconstruction of, 201 smells of, 200 UNICEF office in, 37–39, 49–50, 53 King, Martin Luther Jr., 135, 143, 181 Kinyarwanda, 2, 46, 50, 69, 74, 84, 177, 199 Koinange, Mary, 96–100, 104, 118, 251 Koran, 198 L Labor unions, 161 Lake Kivu (Rwanda), 51, 106, 121 Lamu (island off Kenya), 16–17 Lao Tzu, 235 Leadership, 154–55, 160, 271, 277 Lending agency, manual for building, 64 Leonard (driver), 191–92 Leonel (Zairean musician), 51 Liliane (Rwandan woman) daughter of, 177, 201 with Duterimbere, 57–58, 60–62, 64, 67–69, 113 genocide and, 164–65, 177 gift for children of, 209–10 at holiday party, 126 husband of, 177–79, 201, 210 Indian trip for rural Rwandan women and, 68–69 postgenocide, 153, 177–79, 200–201, 209–10 son of, 177, 201, 209 Lions Club, 269 Listening to Kigali market women, 57–58 leadership and, 155, 271, 277 to markets, 254 need for, 283–84 by Novogratz (Jacqueline), 57–58, 63–64, 86, 175, 279 in philanthropy, 141 poverty solution and, 263, 270 skills, 86 Los Angeles riots (1990s), 154 Lu Xun, 36 M Maathai, Wangari, 213 MacDougall, Ann, 231–32, 281 MacDougall, Charlotte, 281 Madgasy proverb, 72 Maha Ghosananda (Buddhist monk), 144–45, 162 Maize mills project, 130–31 Malaria, 69, 89–90, 113, 255–58, 264 Management skills, need for, 135 Mandela, Nelson, 1, 146 Marcelina (“Maz”) (Kenyan woman), 16–17, 30 Markets, 65–66, 105, 212, 254, 272, 277 Maryam (Kashmiri girl), 275–77 Mary (first woman bank manager in Kenya), 12 Masalawala, Rustom, 220, 226 Meenakshi Temple (India), 283 Microenterprises, 9, 138, 211.


pages: 523 words: 143,139

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths


4chan, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, constrained optimization, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, diversification, double helix, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, first-price auction, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Henri Poincaré, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, Lao Tzu, linear programming, martingale, Nash equilibrium, natural language processing, NP-complete, P = NP, packet switching, prediction markets, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert X Cringely, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, sorting algorithm, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, Thomas Malthus, traveling salesman, Turing machine, urban planning, Vickrey auction, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator

In an industrial or bureaucratic context where you can’t simply discard a project, but in which the number—rather than the severity—of late projects is still your biggest concern, Moore’s Algorithm is just as indifferent about how those late tasks are handled. Anything booted from the main portion of your schedule can get done at the very end, in any order; it doesn’t matter, as they’re all already late. Getting Things Done Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. —LAO TZU Sometimes due dates aren’t our primary concern and we just want to get stuff done: as much stuff, as quickly as possible. It turns out that translating this seemingly simple desire into an explicit scheduling metric is harder than it sounds. One approach is to take an outsider’s perspective. We’ve noted that in single-machine scheduling, nothing we do can change how long it will take us to finish all of our tasks—but if each task, for instance, represents a waiting client, then there is a way to take up as little of their collective time as possible.

.; networking; websites fast connections geography of infrastructure of protocols and security and interrupt coalescing interruptions intractable problems defined equilibrium and relaxation and scheduling and Introduction to Relaxation Methods, An (Shaw) intuitive hunches investment strategies invitations involuntary selflessness Jacobson, Van Jain, Kamal James, William Jarvis, Richard Jaws (film) Jay, Francine Jeffreys, Harold Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) jitter Jobs, Steve job search Johnson, Selmer Jones, William Joy of Less, The (Jay) judgment “just play the game” approach just society Kaelbling, Leslie Kahn, Robert “Bob” Kant, Immanuel Karels, Michael Karp, Richard Kaushik, Avinash Kayal, Neeraj Keats, John Keeping Found Things Found (Jones) Kenney, Richard Kepler, Johannes Kerr, Clark Keynes, John Maynard al-Khwārizmī King County Library System (KCLS) king of the hill Kipling, Rudyard Kirkpatrick, Scott Kleinrock, Leonard Kline, Charley knapsack problem Knuth, Donald Koomen, Pete Ladder tournaments Lagrange, Joseph-Louis Lagrangian Relaxation Lai, Tze Leung lancet liver fluke Lange, Rebecca language Lao Tzu Laplace, Pierre-Simon Laplace’s Law Lasso latency lateness, minimizing maximum laundry law enforcement Lawler, Eugene “Gene” “Lawn Tennis Tournaments” (Dodgson) Law of Gross Tonnage Lawrence, Peter A. Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) lawsuits Lazzarini, Mario Least Recently Used (LRU) Lee, Michael left-side insertion rule Le Guin, Ursula K. Lenstra, Jan Karel Lerner, Ben leveling liberty Libin, Phil libraries likelihood like-with-like grouping Lincoln, Abraham linearithmic time (O(n log n)) linear time (O(n)) linguistics Linux lobster trap local maximum logarithmic rates outsmarting Look-Then-Leap Rule Los Alamos Los Angeles Times love.


pages: 207 words: 63,071

My Start-Up Life: What A by Ben Casnocha, Marc Benioff


affirmative action, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, business process, call centre, David Brooks, don't be evil, fear of failure, hiring and firing, index fund, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, Menlo Park, Paul Graham, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technology bubble, traffic fines

It’s easy to analyze the present or dream about the distant future, but actionable tasks over the next two to four weeks are most important for keeping the ball moving. • People who get stuff done “dream” and “talk” as much as the next guy, but they share these dreams and ideas with others. By sharing your intentions with others, you introduce yet another accountability mechanism. • People who get stuff done begin. Taking that first step can be the hardest. Act now! As Taoism founder Lao-tzu said, “A journey of one thousand miles begins with a single step.” (Continued) 34 MY START-UP LIFE What mindset allows me to be productive? I’m fortunate not to have many onerous projects that I loathe to work on. Loving what you do is key to getting stuff done and not simply talking about it. When I’m focused on work, I take a “let’skick-some-butt” attitude. If something is difficult, I break it down into parts and organize its related tasks on my computer.


pages: 241 words: 43,073

Puppet 3 Beginner's Guide by John Arundel


cloud computing, Debian, job automation, job satisfaction, Lao Tzu, Network effects, SpamAssassin

Files You can have Puppet deploy a copy of a file using the source attribute: file { '/etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default': source => 'puppet:///modules/nginx/cat-pictures.conf', } File resources can trigger a service to be restarted using the notify attribute. This is useful for configuration files, for which changes often don't take effect until the relevant service is restarted: notify => Service['nginx'], Chapter 4. Managing Puppet with Git If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. – Lao-tzu In this chapter you'll learn how to use the Git version control system to manage your Puppet manifests. I'll also show you how to use Git to distribute the manifests to multiple machines, so that you can start managing your whole network with Puppet. If you're already familiar with Git, you can save some reading by skipping ahead to the Time for action – importing your manifests into Git section.


Trend Commandments: Trading for Exceptional Returns by Michael W. Covel


Albert Einstein, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, commodity trading advisor, correlation coefficient, delayed gratification, diversified portfolio,, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, family office, full employment, Lao Tzu, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market microstructure, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Nick Leeson, oil shock, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Sharpe ratio, systematic trading, the scientific method, transaction costs, tulip mania, upwardly mobile, Y2K

January 5, 2011. See Lucky Monkey 1. The Pixies, “Monkey Gone to Heaven.” Doolittle, Elektra, 1989. 2. Frederic Tomesco, “Obama’s Stimulus Plan Made Crisis Worse Taleb Says.” Bloomberg Businessweek, September 25, 2010. 3. Bill Simmons, “You Can Quote Me on This.” October 11, 2002. See Honest 1. Lao Tzu. 2. Michael Shermer, The Skeptic: Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience. Santa Barbara: ABC-Cleo Inc., 2002. 3. See 4. Tim Ferriss, “The Benefits of Pissing People Off.” November 25, 2009. See 5. Ibid. 6. David Turnbull. See 7. Ibid. 8. Ibid. 9. Ibid. 10. Public Enemy, “911 is a Joke.”


pages: 168 words: 47,972

Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts


dematerialisation, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, follow your passion, Lao Tzu, large denomination, personalized medicine, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the map is not the territory

The Dhammapada, translated by Eknath Easwaran (Nilgiri Press, 1986) An accessible translation of the sutra that is as essential to the Buddhist tradition as the Sermon on the Mount is to the Christian tradition. The Essential Koran, translated by Thomas Cleary (Book Sales, 1998) A collection of readings from the Koran, designed to help non-Muslim Westerners appreciate the power and poetry of the Muslim holy book. Tao Te Ching: A New English Version, translated by Stephen Mitchell (Harper Perennial, 1992) A Zen-influenced translation of Lao Tzu’s classic meditations. The Upanishads, translated by Juan Mascaro (Viking Press, 1965) Simple and powerful verses from the ancient mystical tradition of Hinduism. For a fully updated and linkable online version of this resource guide, surf to and follow the “Resources” link. VAGABONDING VOICES Travel, education, spirituality, and social evolution are to me intrinsically intertwined.


pages: 175 words: 54,497

The Naked Eye: How the Revolution of Laser Surgery Has Unshackled the Human Eye by Gerard Sutton, Michael Lawless


Isaac Newton, Lao Tzu, Mahatma Gandhi

Also, it’s something I always wanted to tackle, but have never had the time. Ulysses is my next choice. Although I’ve read it from cover to cover I didn’t get it. Maybe the second time around something might click. My fourth choice would be To Kill a Mockingbird for the same reasons that I would take Hemingway. My last book would be one that I read regularly. It’s a strange book called The Book of the Way or Tao Te Ching written in about 500 BC by Lao Tzu, a Chinese scholar. It’s a fabulous book of short verses, beautifully written, that talks about why the world is how it is and how to live your life. Even though it might seem a bit obvious in parts, the fact that it was written two and half thousand years ago makes it quite remarkable. Which living person do you most admire? Nelson Mandela, the captain of the ship that was his life. As for someone who is personally known to me, our business partner, Dr Chris Rogers is someone for whom I have enormous respect and admiration.


pages: 177 words: 54,421

Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday


Airbnb, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Burning Man, delayed gratification, Google Glasses, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, Paul Graham, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, side project, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Upton Sinclair

Facts are better than dreams, as Churchill put it. Although we share with many others a vision for greatness, we understand that our path toward it is very different from theirs. Following Sherman and Isocrates, we understand that ego is our enemy on that journey, so that when we do achieve our success, it will not sink us but make us stronger. TALK, TALK, TALK Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know. —LAO TZU In his famous 1934 campaign for the governorship of California, the author and activist Upton Sinclair took an unusual step. Before the election, he published a short book titled I, Governor of California and How I Ended Poverty, in which he outlined, in the past tense, the brilliant policies he had enacted as governor . . . the office he had not yet won. It was an untraditional move from an untraditional campaign, intended to leverage Sinclair’s best asset—as an author, he knew he could communicate with the public in a way that others couldn’t.


pages: 222 words: 75,778

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh


call centre, crowdsourcing, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, Tony Hsieh, Y2K

Tweets to Live By • “Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.” —Hugh Macleod • “If you have more than 3 priorities then you don’t have any.” —Jim Collins • “If the person you’re talking to isn’t listening, be patient. Maybe he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.” —Winnie-the-Pooh • “In the pursuit of knowledge, something is added every day. In the pursuit of enlightenment, something is dropped every day.” —Lao-tzu • “Someone broke into my car last night. Nothing worth taking, car is actually less of a mess now. I should schedule this monthly.” SECTION III PROFITS, PASSION, AND PURPOSE 6 Taking It to the Next Level PR and Public Speaking In the two years leading up to the announcement of the Amazon acquisition, Zappos started getting more and more media coverage. A lot of people assumed that we must have stepped up our PR efforts, but that wasn’t the case at all.


pages: 287 words: 81,970

The Dollar Meltdown: Surviving the Coming Currency Crisis With Gold, Oil, and Other Unconventional Investments by Charles Goyette


bank run, banking crisis, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, California gold rush, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Deng Xiaoping, diversified portfolio, Elliott wave, fiat currency, fixed income, Fractional reserve banking, housing crisis, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop, index fund, Lao Tzu, margin call, market bubble, McMansion, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, oil shock, peak oil, pushing on a string, reserve currency, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, short selling, Silicon Valley, transaction costs

CHAPTER NINE The Authorities Are in Charge Or So They Think! . . . if we face a monopolist we are at his mercy. And an authority directing the whole economic system would be the most powerful monopolist conceivable. —F. A. Hayek The more prohibitions there are, the poorer the people become. . . . The greater the number of statutes, the greater the number of thieves and brigands. —Lao-tzu The Command Economy America is transforming itself, without forethought, debate, or pause, into a command economy. A command economy is a top-down, state-controlled economy directed by planners and bureaucrats, boards and bodies, administrators and authorities. A command economy is not characterized by mutuality of interest and agreement between parties. It relies on edict. A command economy, as the name implies, orders the affairs of a nation by coercion.


pages: 231 words: 72,656

A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage


Berlin Wall, British Empire, Colonization of Mars, Copley Medal, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, laissez-faire capitalism, Lao Tzu, multiplanetary species, out of africa, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade

Exactly how and when it spread into China is unclear, but it seems to have been helped along by Buddhist monks, adherents of the religion founded in India in the sixth century BCE by Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha. Both Buddhist and Taoist monks found that drinking tea was an invaluable aid to meditation, since it enhanced concentration and banished fatigue—qualities that are now known to be due to the presence of caffeine. Lao-tzu, the founder of Taoism who lived in the sixth century BCE, believed that tea was an essential ingredient in the elixir of life. The earliest unambiguous Chinese reference to tea is from the first century BCE, some twenty-six centuries after Shen Nung's supposed discovery. Having started out as an obscure medicinal and religious beverage, tea first seems to have become a domestic drink in China around this time; a contemporary book, Working Rules of Servants, describes the proper ways to buy and serve it.


pages: 469 words: 97,582

QI: The Second Book of General Ignorance by Lloyd, John, Mitchinson, John


Ada Lovelace, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, clean water, double helix, Etonian, ghettoisation, Isaac Newton, Lao Tzu, Louis Pasteur, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murano, Venice glass, out of africa, the built environment, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, traveling salesman

As a radio producer he devised The News Quiz and To the Manor Born before moving to television to start Not the Nine O’Clock News, Spitting Image and Blackadder. He lives by the motto of the German mystic Henry Suso (1300–66): ‘By ignorance the truth is known.’ John Mitchinson is from the world of books. The original Marketing Director of Waterstone’s, he became Managing Director of Cassell, where he published The Beatles, Michael Palin and Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. He’s with the Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu: ‘To know that you do not know is the best. To pretend to know when you do not know is disease.’ By the Same Authors THE BOOK OF GENERAL IGNORANCE THE BOOK OF ANIMAL IGNORANCE ADVANCED BANTER: THE QI BOOK OF QUOTATIONS THE QI BOOK OF THE DEAD THE QI ‘E’ ANNUAL THE QI ‘F’ ANNUAL THE QI ‘G’ ANNUAL THE QI ‘H’ ANNUAL also by John Lloyd (with Douglas Adams) THE MEANING OF LIFF THE DEEPER MEANING OF LIFF Copyright First published in 2010 by Faber and Faber Ltd Bloomsbury House 74–77 Great Russell Street London WC1B 3DA This ebook edition first published in 2010 All rights reserved © QI Ltd, 2010 Illustrations © Mr Bingo, 2010 The right of QI Ltd to be identified as author of this work has been asserted in accordance with Section 77 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 This ebook is copyright material and must not be copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed, leased, licensed or publicly performed or used in any way except as specifically permitted in writing by the publishers, as allowed under the terms and conditions under which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law.


pages: 284 words: 92,387

The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movement by David Graeber


Bretton Woods, British Empire, corporate personhood, David Graeber, deindustrialization, dumpster diving, East Village, feminist movement, financial innovation, George Gilder, Lao Tzu, late fees, Occupy movement, payday loans, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, unpaid internship, We are the 99%, working poor

Needless to say they were not ultimately successful, but their ideas had enormous influence on court philosophers of later generations. And in the cities, anarchist ideas gave rise to notions that the individual should not be bound by any social conventions and that all technology should be rejected in order to return to an imagined primitive utopia—a pattern that was to repeat itself many times through world history. Those individualist and primitivist ideas, in turn, had an enormous influence on the Taoist philosophy of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu.23 How many similar movements have there been throughout human history? We cannot know. (We only happen to know about the Tillers because they also compiled manuals of agricultural technology so good they were read and recopied for thousands of years.) But really all the Tillers were doing was an intellectually self-conscious version of what, as James Scott has recently shown in his “anarchist history of Southeast Asia,” millions of people in that part of the world have been doing for centuries: flee from the control of nearby kingdoms and try to set up societies based on a rejection of everything those states represent; then try to convince others to do the same.24 There are likely to have been many such movements winning free spaces of one sort or another from different states.


pages: 422 words: 89,770

Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges


1960s counterculture, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, call centre, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbine, corporate governance, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, hive mind, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Lao Tzu, post scarcity, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tobin tax, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Christianity certainly has—through Jesus and the best of the Hebrew prophets—some profound wisdom, without any doubt. But once you claim to exalt the Wisdom Tradition—as the Jesus Seminar also did—then there’s no reason to stop with Christianity. All wisdom (and alleged wisdom) is on the table. Then it’s easy to see and say things that are almost impossible to say from within Christianity. “Jesus was so young. It’s a pity he didn’t live to 70-80, as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Buddha, Lao Tzu and Confucius had, and grow into a less idealistic and more realistic vision.” Questions like this, I think, take the discussion outside of Christianity (or any single religion) and into a field that might be called the best sort of humanism (à la Shakespeare and Montaigne). But it’s hard for professors and preachers paid to be Christians to make that move, for lots of reasons. Ministers know that if they’re going to preach on a story from the Bible, they have to tell the people the story first, since most of them have never read it.


pages: 271 words: 83,944

The Sellout: A Novel by Paul Beatty


affirmative action, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, desegregation, El Camino Real, haute couture, illegal immigration, Lao Tzu, late fees, p-value, publish or perish, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, telemarketer, theory of mind, War on Poverty, white flight

Hammurabi, Moses, Solomon—these veined Spanish marble incantations of democracy and fair play—Muhammad, Napoleon, Charlemagne, and some buffed ancient Greek frat boy in a toga stand above me, casting their stony judgmental gazes down upon me. I wonder if they looked at the Scottsboro Boys and Al Gore, Jr., with the same disdain. Only Confucius looks chill. The sporty Chinese satin robe with the big sleeves, kung fu shoes, Shaolin sifu beard and mustache. I hold the pipe high overhead and offer him a hit; the longest journey starts with a single puff … “That ‘longest journey’ shit is Lao-tzu,” he says. “All you motherfucking philosopher-poets sound alike to me,” I say. It’s a trip being the latest in the long line of landmark race-related cases. I suppose the constitutional scholars and cultural paleontologists will argue over my place on the historical timeline. Carbon-date my pipe and determine whether I’m a direct descendant of Dred Scott, that colored conundrum who, as a slave living in a free state, was man enough for his wife and kids, man enough to sue his master for his freedom, but not man enough for the Constitution, because in the eyes of the Court he was simply property: a black biped “with no rights the white man was bound to respect.”


pages: 298 words: 95,668

Milton Friedman: A Biography by Lanny Ebenstein


affirmative action, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, Deng Xiaoping, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, labour market flexibility, Lao Tzu, liquidity trap, means of production, Mont Pelerin Society, Ponzi scheme, price stability, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, stem cell, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen

.: Edward Elgar, 1998), writes that, on reading Capitalism and Freedom, “one is struck by the sense of optimism about the ultimate power of ideas—a faith that closely reasoned argument, an accumulation of evidence, and a leavening of wit will persuade most people and that our governmental processes will be responsive to their preferences” (p. 307). Also see Boaz (ed.), The Libertarian Reader: Classic and Contemporary Writings from Lao-tzu to Milton Friedman (New York: Free Press, 1997). Anna Jacobson Schwartz has written on Friedman on several occasions, including a September 1998 review of Two Lucky People in the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis periodical The Region. She observes that Friedman has changed the popular mind-set with respect to government’s appropriate role in the economy: “He did so by radically altering the popular understanding of the Great Depression.


pages: 570 words: 151,259

Broken Angels by Richard Morgan


friendly fire, gravity well, Lao Tzu, the High Line, urban sprawl

The founder-heroes of human antiquity are exposed for the pig-ignorant mall bullies they probably always were, as decoding of the first Martian data systems brings in evidence of a starfaring culture at least as old as the whole human race. The millennial knowledge out of Egypt and China starts to look like a ten-year-old child’s bedroom datastack. The wisdom of the ages shredded at a stroke into the pipe-cooked musings of a bunch of canal-dive barflies. Lao Tzu, Confucius, Jesus Christ, Muhammed—what did these guys know? Parochial locals, never even been off the planet. Where were they when the Martians were crossing interstellar space. Of course—a sour grin out of one corner of Wardani’s mouth—established religion lashed back. The usual strategies. Incorporate the Martians into the scheme of things, scour the scriptures or make up some new ones, reinterpret.


pages: 476 words: 132,042

What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly


Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Buckminster Fuller,, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, charter city, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, computer vision, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping,, Exxon Valdez, George Gilder, gravity well, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, invention of air conditioning, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John Conway, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, life extension, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, out of africa, performance metric, personalized medicine, phenotype, Picturephone, planetary scale, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, refrigerator car, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, Skype, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Kaczynski, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

The universe is mostly empty because it is waiting to be filled with the products of life and the technium, with questions and problems and the thickening relations between bits that we call con scientia—shared knowledge—or consciousness. And whether we like it or not, we stand at the fulcrum of the future. We are in part responsible for the evolution of this planet proceeding onward. About 2,500 years ago most of humanity’s major religions were set in motion in a relatively compact period. Confucius, Lao-tzu, Buddha, Zoroaster, the authors of the Upanishads, and the Jewish patriarchs all lived within a span of 20 generations. Only a few major religions have been born since then. Historians call that planetary fluttering the Axial Age. It was as if everyone alive awoke simultaneously and, in one breath, set out in search of their mysterious origins. Some anthropologists believe the Axial Age awakening was induced by the surplus abundance that agriculture created, enabled by massive irrigation and waterworks around the world.


pages: 485 words: 148,662

Farewell by Sergei Kostin, Eric Raynaud


car-free, cuban missile crisis, index card, invisible hand, kremlinology, Lao Tzu, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier

One was perfectly adapted to the never-ending discussions with Ferrant, and the other was at odds with his profession as an intelligence officer and with his mole status: he talked too much, and he drank too much. Vetrov had no inhibition discussing his private life, particularly his difficulties with Svetlana and Ludmila. From his taste for dirty jokes, his colleagues had guessed the sexual issues he confided to Ferrant. “Those who do don’t talk, those who talk don’t do,” would have said Lao Tzu. Vladimir could be especially indiscreet when he indulged his favorite pastime—drinking. He got into the habit of visiting Galina Rogatina, not so much to share a drink or two, but to simply chat because Galina was an intelligent and perceptive woman. She had gone through ups and downs in her life. She had spent almost a year in jail after being wrongly accused; it was an extremely trying experience, but she had no regrets.


pages: 376 words: 121,254

Cocaine Nation: How the White Trade Took Over the World by Thomas Feiling


anti-communist, barriers to entry, crack epidemic, deindustrialization, illegal immigration, informal economy, inventory management, land reform, Lao Tzu, offshore financial centre, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, trade route, upwardly mobile

The pastor’s words carry the same staunch morality and duty of care as those of the most hard-line prohibitionist, but he made no mention of banning anything. The closest he came to censure was in his parting words. ‘But crack cocaine? I ain’t seen nothing good come from it.’ 11 Prospects The more prohibitions you have, the less virtuous people will be. Try to make people moral, and you lay the groundwork for vice. Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching One of the few legal buyers of coca leaves outside the Andes is the Coca-Cola Company.1 The world’s most popular soft drink is the last vestige of an age in which coca-infused tonics were both legal and popular. When first marketed, ‘the pause that refreshes’ owed its potency to the 60 mg of cocaine in every eight-ounce bottle.2 These days, coca is used only as flavouring. The company’s annual consignment of coca leaves is shipped to New Jersey under armed guard, where it is de-cocainized for use by Coca-Cola bottlers around the world.


pages: 482 words: 117,962

Exceptional People: How Migration Shaped Our World and Will Define Our Future by Ian Goldin, Geoffrey Cameron, Meera Balarajan


Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, conceptual framework, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, guest worker program, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour mobility, Lao Tzu, life extension, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Malacca Straits, microcredit, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, open borders, out of africa, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, spice trade, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, women in the workforce, working-age population

The migration of religious missionaries, secular teachers, and medical experts spread great spiritual and ethical traditions that, among other things, addressed new social and moral problems associated with the large-scale organization of society.66 The period between 800 BCE and 200 BCE is now widely known as the “Axial Age,” so named by Karl Jaspers, who described the simultaneous emergence of universal religions within the great agrarian civilizations of Mesopotamia, Persia, China, and India. In urban and imperial societies, new religions promoted social order with abstract moral principles and codes. Religion and society developed through dynamic interaction. During this historical window, Socrates and Plato emerged in Greece, Buddha appeared in India, Confucius and Lao Tzu in China, Zoroaster in Persia, and the Hebrew Prophets in Palestine. Jaspers remarks on the similarity in the thought of these religions and in the lives of their founders. As he famously argued, “the spiritual foundations of humanity were laid simultaneously and independently…. And these are the foundations upon which humanity still subsists today.”67 The emergence of these faiths also gave rise to a new class of religious scholars, many of whom traveled to teach and study.


pages: 404 words: 131,034

Cosmos by Carl Sagan


Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Arthur Eddington, clockwork universe, dematerialisation, double helix, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, germ theory of disease, invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Lao Tzu, Louis Pasteur, Magellanic Cloud, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, music of the spheres, pattern recognition, planetary scale, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, spice trade, Tunguska event

Reprinted by permission of the publisher. Oxford University Press: Excerpt from Zurvan: A Zoroastrian Dilemma by R. C. Zaehner (Clarendon Press—1955). Reprinted by permission of Oxford University Press. Penguin Books, Ltd.: One line from Enuma Elish, Sumer, in Poems of Heaven and Hell from Ancient Mesopotamia, translated by N. K. Sandars (Penguin Classics, 1971). Copyright © N. K. Sandars, 1971. Twelve lines from Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, translated by D. C. Lau (Penguin Classics, 1963). Copyright © D. C. Lau, 1963. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Books, Ltd. Pergamon Press, Ltd.: Excerpts from Giant Meteorites by E. L. Krinov are reprinted by permission of Pergamon Press, Ltd. Simon & Schuster, Inc.: Quote from the Bhagavad Gita from Lawrence and Oppenheimer by Nuel Pharr Davis (1968, page 239), and excerpt from The Sand Reckoner by Archimedes taken from The World of Mathematics by James Newman (1956, volume 1, page 420).


pages: 663 words: 119,916

The Big Book of Words You Should Know: Over 3,000 Words Every Person Should Be Able to Use (And a Few That You Probably Shouldn't) by David Olsen, Michelle Bevilacqua, Justin Cord Hayes


deliberate practice, haute couture, haute cuisine, jitney, Lao Tzu, place-making, placebo effect, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Rosa Parks, Upton Sinclair

Justin was all set for the big game until he reached into his pocket and found that his TALISMAN—a small piece of stone from the shores of Ireland, given to him by his mother—was missing. tangelo (TAN-juh-lo), noun A kind of citrus fruit; hybrid of a tangerine and a grapefruit. The corner fruit market specialized in stocking the more exotic fruits and vegetables, and for most of the year was the only place in town where one could regularly purchase TANGELOS. Taoism (DOW-is-um), noun A system of philosophy identified with the sage Lao-Tzu, and embodied most notably in his work Tao-te-ching, that holds that life lived simply and in accordance with natural laws and events is most in keeping with the Tao, or way, that underlies all existence. Scholars may debate the fine points of a rational understanding of TAOISM, but a true practitioner probably expresses it best when she gracefully and thankfully accepts a proffered cup of tea.


pages: 448 words: 142,946

Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition by Charles Eisenstein


Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, bank run, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Bretton Woods, capital controls, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, disintermediation, diversification, fiat currency, financial independence, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global supply chain, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, Lao Tzu, liquidity trap, lump of labour, McMansion, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, Own Your Own Home, peak oil, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Scramble for Africa, special drawing rights, spinning jenny, technoutopianism, the built environment, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail

In both cases, I think that the object of the pursuit is a spurious substitute for a diversity of things that people really want.14 In a fully monetized society, in which nearly everything is a good or a service, money converts the multiplicity of the world into a unity, a “single thing that is the measure of, and exchangeable with, almost anything else.”15 The apeiron, the logos, and similar conceptions were all versions of an underlying unity that gives birth to all things. It is that from which all things arise and to which all things return. As such it is nearly identical with the ancient Chinese conception of the Tao, which gives birth to yin and yang, and then to the ten thousand things. Interestingly, the semilegendary preceptor of Taoism, Lao Tzu, lived at approximately the same time as the pre-Socratic philosophers—which is also more or less the time of the first Chinese coinage. In any event, today it is still money that gives birth to the ten thousand things. Whatever you want to build in this world, you start with an investment, with money. And then, when you have finished your project, it is time to sell it. All things come from money; all things return to money.


pages: 624 words: 127,987

The Personal MBA: A World-Class Business Education in a Single Volume by Josh Kaufman


Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, business process, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Hofstadter,, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, high net worth, hindsight bias, index card, inventory management, iterative process, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, loose coupling, loss aversion, market bubble, Network effects, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, place-making, premature optimization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, side project, statistical model, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, telemarketer, the scientific method, time value of money, Toyota Production System, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, Yogi Berra

As long as you’re bringing in enough to keep doing what you’re doing, there’s no need to fight for every last penny. Create as much value as you possibly can, then capture enough of that value to make it worthwhile to keep operating. SHARE THIS CONCEPT: Sufficiency Know contentment and you will suffer no disgrace; know when to stop and you will meet with no danger. You can then endure. —LAO TZU, ANCIENT CHINESE PHILOSOPHER Once, a powerful executive went on vacation—his first in fifteen years. As he was exploring a pier in a small coastal fishing village, a tuna fisherman docked his boat. As the Fisherman lashed his boat to the pier, the Executive complimented him on the size and quality of his fish. “How long did it take you to catch these fish?” the Executive asked. “Only a little while,” the Fisherman replied.


pages: 645 words: 184,311

American Gods by Neil Gaiman


airport security, book scanning, Brownian motion, Golden Gate Park, Lao Tzu

Something that stood beside the soft drink stand in Mother Goose Court coughed to attract his attention. It was massive, and scalpel blades jutted from its face and its fingers. Its face was cancerous. "It will be a mighty battle," it told him, in a glutinous voice. "It's not going to be a battle," said the fat kid. "All we're facing here is a fucking paradigm shift. It's a shakedown. Modalities like battle are so fucking Lao Tzu." The cancerous thing blinked at him. "Waiting," is all it said in reply. "Whatever," said the fat kid. Then, "I'm looking for Mister World. You seen him?" The thing scratched itself with a scalpel blade, a tumorous lower lip pushed out in concentration. Then it nodded. "Over there," it said. The fat kid walked away, without a thank you, in the direction indicated. The cancerous thing waited, saying nothing, until the kid was out of sight.


pages: 651 words: 180,162

Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb


Air France Flight 447, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discrete time, double entry bookkeeping, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, financial independence, Flash crash, Gary Taubes, Gini coefficient, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, informal economy, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, moral hazard, mouse model, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Silicon Valley, six sigma, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, stochastic volatility, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Yogi Berra, Zipf's Law

Procrastination turned out to be a way to let events take their course and give the activists the chance to change their minds before committing to irreversible policies. And of course members did change their minds after seeing the failures and horrors of Stalinism and similar regimes. There is a Latin expression festina lente, “make haste slowly.” The Romans were not the only ancients to respect the act of voluntary omission. The Chinese thinker Lao Tzu coined the doctrine of wu-wei, “passive achievement.” Few understand that procrastination is our natural defense, letting things take care of themselves and exercise their antifragility; it results from some ecological or naturalistic wisdom, and is not always bad—at an existential level, it is my body rebelling against its entrapment. It is my soul fighting the Procrustean bed of modernity. Granted, in the modern world, my tax return is not going to take care of itself—but by delaying a non-vital visit to a doctor, or deferring the writing of a passage until my body tells me that I am ready for it, I may be using a very potent naturalistic filter.


pages: 708 words: 196,859

Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed


Albert Einstein, anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, central bank independence, centre right, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Etonian, full employment, German hyperinflation, index card, invisible hand, Lao Tzu, large denomination, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, mobile money, moral hazard, new economy, open economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, purchasing power parity, pushing on a string, rolodex, the market place

Because he also took a certain mischievous pleasure in twitting people with his more unconventional notions, it was always difficult to know how seriously to take him. It was perhaps not surprising that Norman should have acquired a reputation as an oddity and an eccentric. He was viewed by his City acquaintances as a strange and lonely man who spent his evenings alone in his grand house immersed in Brahms, and who frequently quoted the Chinese sage Lao Tzu. He certainly made no attempt to fit into the clubby atmosphere of the City. His interests were primarily aesthetic and philosophical, and though he counted a few bankers among his close friends, he generally preferred to mix in a more eclectic circle of artists and designers. By THURSDAY, July 30, it had become apparent that what had initially appeared to be just a remote Balkan affair between a fading empire and one of its minor states was escalating toward a general European war.