Ralph Waldo Emerson

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pages: 251 words: 44,888

The Words You Should Know to Sound Smart: 1200 Essential Words Every Sophisticated Person Should Be Able to Use by Bobbi Bly

Albert Einstein, Alistair Cooke, Anton Chekhov, British Empire, Columbine, Donald Trump, George Santayana, haute couture, Honoré de Balzac, Joan Didion, John Nash: game theory, Network effects, placebo effect, Ralph Waldo Emerson, school vouchers, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs

After 9/11, CABOTAGE became a major concern of New York City and its mayor. cache (KASH), noun Something hidden or stored. Everyone was jealous when they learned of Moira’s CACHE of acceptances to the finest schools. caducous (kuh-DOO-kuss), adjective Transitory; short-lived; perishable. “Some thing, which I fancied was a part of me, falls off from me and leaves no scar. It was CADUCOUS.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet, essayist, and transcendentalist calumny (KAL-um-nee), noun The act of libel or slander; to besmirch a person’s reputation by spreading false statements and rumors. “CALUMNY will sear virtue itself.” –William Shakespeare cannonade (CAN-non-ayd), noun A continuous, relentless bombardment or effort. A CANNONADE of questioning greeted Eva’s statement that she was quitting the club’s tennis team.

.” – John Gross, British literary critic gambol (GAM-bowl), verb To run, skip, or jump about in a playful or joyous fashion. “We all have these places where shy humiliations GAMBOL on sunny afternoons.” – W. H. Auden, Anglo-American poet gamesome (GAYM-suhm), adjective Playful and frolicsome. “[Nature] is GAMESOME and good, / But of mutable mood,— / No dreary repeater now and again, / She will be all things to all men.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet, essayist, and transcendentalist gamine (gah-MEEN), noun A girl with a boyish demeanor and mischievous nature who is somehow still appealing. Her GAMINE behavior and looks only made her that much more attractive to teenage boys her age. gamut (GAM-utt), noun The full spectrum of possibilities or choices. The choice of places to eat near the mall ran the GAMUT from chain restaurants to five-star dining.

globalization (glow-bull-ih-ZAY-shin), noun The movement toward a true world economy with open and free trading across national borders. “Proponents of GLOBALIZATION insist that, as trade and investment move across borders, economic efficiencies raise the standards of living on both sides of the exchange.” – Arthur Goldwag, American author globule (GLAHB-yewl), noun A small globe or ball. “In yourself is the law of all nature, and you know not yet how a GLOBULE of sap ascends.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet, essayist, and transcendentalist Gnosticism (NAH-stih-sih-zim), noun The religious belief that salvation is attained through secret knowledge rather than through prayer, ritual, faith, divine grace, or good works. Many of the key principles of Christianity were formed as a direct response to GNOSTICISM. gorgonize (GORE-guh-nize), verb To paralyze or mesmerize with one’s looks or personality.


pages: 490 words: 150,172

The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance by Henry Petroski

business climate, Douglas Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Khartoum Gordon, Menlo Park, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen

Portions of this book were originally published in Across the Board and in American Heritage of Invention & Technology. Grateful acknowledgment is made to Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph, Inc., for permission to reprint excerpts from “How the Pencil Is Made” from The Pencil : Its History, Manufacture, and Use by The Koh-I-Noor Pencil Company. Reprinted courtesy of Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph, Inc. Correspondence between Ralph Waldo Emerson and Caroline Sturgis quoted by permission of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial Association and of the Houghton Library. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Petroski, Henry. The pencil: a history of design and circumstance/by Henry Petroski. — 1st ed. p. cm. eISBN: 978-0-307-77243-5 1. Pencils—History. I. Title. TS1268.P47 1989 674′.88—dc20 89-45362 v3.1 To Karen Contents Cover Other Books by This Author Title Page Copyright Dedication Preface 1 What We Forget 2 Of Names, Materials, and Things 3 Before the Pencil 4 Noting a New Technology 5 Of Traditions and Transitions 6 Does One Find or Make a Better Pencil?

For without this object Thoreau could not have sketched either the fleeting fauna he would not shoot or the larger flora he could not uproot. Without it he could not label his blotting paper pressing leaves or his insect boxes holding beetles; without it he could not record the measurements he made; without it he could not write home on the paper he brought; without it he could not make his list. Without a pencil Thoreau would have been lost in the Maine woods. According to his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thoreau seems always to have carried, “in his pocket, his diary and pencil.” So why did Thoreau—who had worked with his father to produce the very best lead pencils manufactured in America in the 1840s—neglect to list even one among the essential things to take on an excursion? Perhaps the very object with which he may have been drafting his list was too close to him, too familiar a part of his own everyday outfit, too integral a part of his livelihood, too common a thing for him to think to mention.

He certainly designed and built his own cabin at Walden, and examples of a more mechanical bent in Thoreau exist in the Concord Free Public Library in his drawings for a barn and stanchion for cows and for a machine designed for making lead pipe. So it certainly seems that the younger Thoreau was not without the talents or inclination to “practice engineering” by working out the details of a solution for a machine to produce finer graphite. According to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s son, Edward, who was a young friend of Thoreau, the solution consisted in having a “narrow churn-like chamber around the mill-stones prolonged some seven feet high, opening into a broad, close, flat box, a sort of shelf. Only lead-dust that was fine enough to rise to that height, carried by an upward draught of air, and lodge in the box was used, and the rest ground over.” Walter Harding, in his biography of Thoreau, continues the story by describing the action: “The machine spun around inside a box set on a table and could be wound up to run itself so it could easily be operated by his sisters.”


pages: 207 words: 64,598

To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction by Phillip Lopate

Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, desegregation, fear of failure, index card, Jane Jacobs, Joan Didion, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Nelson Mandela, Norman Mailer, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban planning, white flight

“On the Pleasure of Hating” may not be a perfectly balanced essay, but it is, to my mind, a great one. How I Became an Emersonian For several months I have been camping out in the mind of Ralph Waldo Emerson. It is a companionable, familiar, and yet endlessly stimulating place and, since his mind is stronger than mine, I keep deferring to his wisdom, even his doubts, and quite shamelessly identifying with him. All this started when I idly came across in a local bookstore the new, two-volume edition of his Selected Journals, published by the Library of America, and decided to give it a whirl. Some 1,800 pages later, I am in thrall to, in love with, Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson. If this sounds homoerotic, so be it. I think of a peculiar passage about love in his journals that says that in embracing the worth of someone he admires, “I become his wife & he again aspires to a higher worth which dwells in another spirit & so is wife or receiver of that spirit’s influence.”

My deepest inclination as a writer is historical: to link up what is written today with the rich literary lode of the past. My profoundest belief as a teacher is that many solutions for would-be literary nonfiction writers can be found in the library. To that end, I have included here a long list of exemplary books old and new. I have also included a series of literary case studies—Charles Lamb, William Hazlitt, Ralph Waldo Emerson, James Baldwin, and Edward Hoagland—to explore how nonfiction theory works in practice. Some of these pieces were commissioned or requested; they may have gotten their start as conference talks, contributions to anthologies, even columns for Creative Nonfiction magazine. But they all speak to the same urgent question, of how to write intelligent, satisfying, engaging literary nonfiction.

Like Montaigne, his forerunner, he remains skeptical of the claims of rationality. Pre-Darwin, he is saying that we still have the instinctual makeup of apes and cavemen. Note, too, the term “prejudice.” Despite the consensus of opprobrium attached to that word today, I take it as a given that personal essayists must examine their prejudices and instinctual aversions as starting points for any honest analysis of their characters and views. Ralph Waldo Emerson, in a notebook entry for October 14, 1834, wrote, “Every involuntary repulsion that arises in your mind give heed unto. It is the surface of a central truth.” The “central truth” that Hazlitt explores in the next long (three-page!) paragraph is that hatred seems to provide an essential flavoring, or spice, that we need in order to keep life from becoming intolerably bland. Again, note the tone of the disinterested scientist, when he says “the more we look into it” or posits a series of theoretical questions without answering them: he is not championing hatred; he is trying to explain why it has had such a long run: Nature seems (the more we look into it) made up of antipathies: without something to hate, we should lose the very spring of thought and action.


pages: 62 words: 13,939

Self-Reliance and Other Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, joint-stock company, Mark Zuckerberg, Ralph Waldo Emerson

Self-Reliance © 2011 by Do You Zoom, Inc. The Domino Project Published by Do You Zoom, Inc. The Domino Project is powered by Amazon. Sign up for updates and free stuff at www.thedominoproject.com This is the first edition. If you’d like to suggest a riff for a future edition, please visit our website. Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803—1882 Self-Reliance / Ralph Waldo Emerson p. cm. ISBN: 978-1-936719-10-5 Self-Reliance RALPH WALDO EMERSON I reread Self-Reliance a few times a year. It’s always on my bedside table and I’ve done it for many years. Emerson’s clear and true words ring like a bell. It keeps me on track. It’s hard to follow your path or even to know what it is. There are constant distractions. This essay is a guide for how to realize your vision for your life. Amazing that he wrote it for us over a hundred years ago.

The Domino Project team consists of Amber Rae, Willie Jackson, Michael Parrish DuDell, Lauryn Ballesteros, Amy Richards, Ishita Gupta, Alex Miles Younger and your host, Seth Godin. Thanks also to the very self-reliant folks in Seattle, including Mary Ellen Fullhart, Sarah Gelman, Terry Goodman, Victoria Griffith, Megan Jacobsen, Galen Maynard, Lynette Mong, Sarah Tomashek, and Alan Turkus. Ralph Waldo Emerson may be long dead, but he’s a role model for many of us (not the dead part, of course). The idea that one can make a living doing work that resonates—spreading ideas that matter—is new again, and we’re glad to highlight him as an example. This book is dedicated to anyone willing to step up and avoid the hobgoblins. With relish. ABOUT THE DOMINO PROJECT Books worth buying are books worth sharing.


pages: 263 words: 81,542

Drinking in America: Our Secret History by Susan Cheever

British Empire, George Santayana, Howard Zinn, nuclear winter, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, trade route, white picket fence

A Virginia aristocrat who had grown up on a plantation, he did not believe in “excessive democracy”; democracy was too precious to waste on the common man. This belief, which may have begun with his horror at the way polling places were conducted, led him to favor a strong federal government, and he eventually helped Alexander Hamilton—another man who was disturbed by drunkenness—draft The Federalist Papers. By the 1750s the stage was set for an explosion that would be “the shot heard round the world,” as Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote. England was ruled by King George III, who took the British throne during the Seven Years’ War (which included the French and Indian War) over the control of colonial lands in North America, India, Portugal, and other places. In North America, the campaign began with the seizure of a British encampment (later Fort Duquesne) by the French in the disputed Ohio Valley. This was followed by an attack led by George Washington, then a lieutenant colonel in the British colonial militia Virginia Regiment, at Jumonville Glen in 1754.

This seems to have been the case for both Ethan Allen, who sauntered into the bedroom of a commandant and ordered him to surrender, and for Paul Revere, who, after being captured by the British, talked them into letting him go and persuaded them that the small, ragged militia waiting for them on Lexington Green was actually a few hundred well-trained and well-armed men. “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and “Concord Hymn” by Ralph Waldo Emerson are both poems that sacrifice the actual facts to the constraints of rhyme and the possibility of entertainment. This is just as well, since liquor figures in both stories. Historical poems by men like Longfellow and Emerson were the movies of the nineteenth century. They were amusing, and a lot more fun than reading dry old history books, but extremely inaccurate and often embellished. Longfellow memorializes a ride that never happened and mistakenly writes that the lantern signals from Old North Church Tower—one if by land and two if by sea—were for Revere when in fact they were signals from Revere.

This had a huge effect on the men who were spared the actual addiction—John Adams, John Quincy Adams in the next generation, and Henry Adams two generations later—who became some of our greatest and angriest statesmen. There are generally two kinds of people in an alcoholic family: the alcoholics who are sloppy, unreliable, infuriating, yet sometimes charming; and the nonalcoholics who in response can become hypercompetent, compulsive, and often furious. They are rarely charming. Rage runs in alcoholic families. Depression and sadness also run deep in families—especially alcoholic families. When Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that the gloomy misanthropist John Quincy Adams was so difficult and angry that he seemed to have put sulfuric acid in his tea,93 he was describing a classic reaction of the nonalcoholic in an alcoholic family. John Adams himself suffered from sharp spells of melancholy. Although John Adams’s friend and colleague Benjamin Rush, with astonishing prescience, had written that alcoholism was a disease and not a failure of willpower, John and Abigail Adams were baffled by their sons’ alcoholic behavior, by Abigail’s brother William’s behavior, and later by their grandson John Adams’s behavior, which was so heinous that his letters were removed from the family archives.


pages: 364 words: 103,162

The English by Jeremy Paxman

back-to-the-land, British Empire, colonial rule, Corn Laws, Etonian, game design, George Santayana, global village, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, Khartoum Gordon, mass immigration, Neil Kinnock, Own Your Own Home, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Right to Buy, sensible shoes, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

By then, the British were spending over £8,500 million per annum Doing It Themselves. The fixation with owning their homes is a physical expression of the English belief in privacy. Are the three things – the insularity of the nation as a whole, a collective belief in domesticity and an individual preoccupation with privacy – differing expressions of the same phenomenon? And if so, where did it come from? In Ralph Waldo Emerson’s ‘English Traits’ I came across a meteorological explanation of the Englishman’s character. ‘Born in a harsh and wet climate, which keeps him indoors whenever he is at rest,’ he writes, ‘domesticity is the taproot which enables the nation to branch wide and high. The motive and end of their trade is to guard the independence and privacy of their homes.’9 I wondered whether the English weather might really be the key.

César de Saussure was so scandalized by the open drunkenness, the ‘mighty swearing’, the shirts-off wrestling (the sight of women taking part particularly shook him) and general licentiousness that he concluded that ‘the lower populace is of brutal and insolent nature, and is very quarrelsome’.12 To add a sense of superiority to this natural coarseness was very dangerous. By Victorian times the American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson had noted the way in which the general arrogance of the English towards foreigners expressed itself among many young people: ‘There are multitudes of young rude English who have the self sufficiency and bluntness of their nation, and who, with their disdain for the rest of mankind, and with this indigestion and choler, have made the English traveller a proverb for uncomfortable and offensive manner.’13 Every time that English soccer fans rampage through a city centre, overturning the tables of sidewalk cafés, bloodying the noses of anyone unlucky enough to be in their way, the London press and politicians agonize about what it all means.

John Milton: Defence of the people of England, Concerning their right to call to account kings and magistrates and after due consideration to depose and put them to death. 25. 4 September 1654, in The Speeches of Oliver Cromwell, Everyman Library, p. 28. CHAPTER SEVEN Home Alone 1. Elias Canetti: Crowds and Power, p. 172. 2. Alexander Kinglake: Eothen, pp. 200–202. 3. Max O’Rell: John Bull and his Island, p. 18. 4. Michael Lewis: ‘Oh, not to be in England’, in the Spectator, 23 May 1992. 5. Hermann Muthesius: The English House, p. xv. 6. Ibid. 7. Ibid., p. 8. 8. Ibid., p. 9. 9. Ralph Waldo Emerson: ‘English Traits’, in Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 59–60. 10. George Santayana: Soliloquies in England, p. 14. 11. Samuel Johnson: The Idler, No. 11. 12. Bill Bryson: Notes from a Small Island, p. 278. 13. Johnson, op. cit. 14. Prof. C. G. Collier, letter, 29 October 1996. 15. André Maurois: Three Letters on the English, pp. 261–2. 16. Odette Keun: I Discover the English, p. 151. 17.


Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire by Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, American ideology, Chelsea Manning, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate personhood, David Brooks, discovery of DNA, double helix, drone strike, failed state, Howard Zinn, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, inflation targeting, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Julian Assange, land reform, Martin Wolf, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, Powell Memorandum, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, single-payer health, sovereign wealth fund, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Tobin tax, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012). See particularly John H. Coatsworth, “The Cold War in Central America, 1975–1991,” The Cambridge History of the Cold War, vol. 3, p. 221. 4. For further discussion, see Noam Chomsky, Hopes and Prospects (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2010). 5. Noam Chomsky, Chomsky on Democracy and Education, ed. Carlos P. Otero (New York: RoutledgeFalmer, 2003), p. 34. 6. Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, vol. 2 (London: Macmillan, 1883), p. 525. 7. For discussion, see Noam Chomsky, Current Issues in Linguistic Theory (New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1964). See also Noam Chomsky, Cartesian Linguistics: A Chapter in the History of Rationalist Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009). 8. Michel Crozier, Samuel P. Huntington, and Joji Watanuki, The Crisis of Democracy: Report on the Governability of Democracies to the Trilateral Commission (New York: New York University Press, 1975), p. 113. 9.

One of your strongest influences was the educator John Dewey, whom you’ve described as “one of the relics of the Enlightenment classical liberal tradition.”5 One of the real achievements of the United States is that it pioneered mass public education, not just elite education for the few and maybe some vocational training, if anything, for the many. The opening of land-grant colleges and general schools in the nineteenth century was a very significant development. But if you look back, the reasons for this were complex. Actually, one of them was discussed by Ralph Waldo Emerson. He was struck by the fact that business elites—he didn’t use that term—were interested in public education. He speculated that the reason was that “you must educate them to keep them from our throats.”6 In other words, the mass of the population is getting more rights, and unless they’re properly educated, they may come after us. There’s a corollary to this. If you have a free education that engenders creativity and independence, the way of looking at the world that we were talking about before, people are going to come for your throat because they won’t want to be governed.


pages: 404 words: 118,759

The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature by Ben Tarnoff

California gold rush, interchangeable parts, Kickstarter, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, new economy, New Journalism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, South of Market, San Francisco, South Sea Bubble, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman

Along with William Cullen Bryant, John Greenleaf Whittier, and Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., they were known as the Fireside Poets: a set of nationally loved northeasterners who wrote frequently for the Boston-based Atlantic Monthly, the country’s most prestigious literary magazine. To King, they provided a gold standard against which the young aspirants of the Far Western frontier could be judged. New England had dominated American letters for decades. In the 1830s, Ralph Waldo Emerson had started an intellectual movement in Massachusetts that molded America’s first generation of literary greats. Emerson and his descendants failed in one major respect, however. They gave the young nation much to be proud of—yet they never quite overcame the postcolonial inferiority complex that, since the Revolution, had kept American writers in thrall to their European elders. In a famous address to Harvard’s Phi Beta Kappa Society, Emerson called for the creation of a native national literature, liberated from the cultural imperialism of the Old World.

It set off “a perfect furore in cultivated society,” reported Howells’s wife, Elinor. “All the young ladies are in love with him.” Harte induced nearly as much swooning at the Saturday Club, a monthly gathering of all the big-name Brahmins. He attended on February 25, 1871, his first full day in town. In an oak-paneled room on the second floor of a Boston hotel, the wizened monuments of American letters lined up to meet him: Ralph Waldo Emerson, James Russell Lowell, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. Even Twain would have been intimidated by such company. But if Harte felt the slightest bit starstruck, it didn’t show. On the contrary: he “had a spice of irreverence that enabled him to take them more ironically than they might have liked,” Howells observed. The westerner didn’t defer to his eastern elders, but held his ground, tweaking them with a subtly teasing wit and telling stories about rattlesnakes and prairie dogs.

This theory of progress “struggling up to civilization”: letter from Thomas Starr King to James T. Fields, October 29, 1862, HUNT. These weren’t unusual Fireside Poets: James H. Justus, “The Fireside Poets: Hearthside Values and the Language of Care,” in A. Robert Lee, ed., Nineteenth-Century American Poetry (London: Vision Press, 1985), pp. 146–165. New England had dominated “We have listened . . .”: Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The American Scholar,” in Carl Bode and Malcolm Cowley, eds., The Portable Emerson (New York: Penguin, 1981 [1946]), p. 70. The New York Bohemians “solemn Philistines”: quoted in Roy Kotynek and John Cohassey, American Cultural Rebels, p. 17. In October 1863 Harte’s story was called “The Legend of Monte del Diablo.” The Atlantic Monthly’s October 1863 issue also included Emerson’s poem “Voluntaries” and Thoreau’s essay “Life Without Principle.”


pages: 203 words: 58,817

The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms by Danielle Laporte

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, David Heinemeier Hansson, delayed gratification, Frank Gehry, index card, invisible hand, Lao Tzu, pattern recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak

ACT THE WAY YOU WANT TO FEEL Five to ten accomplishments or experiences that will make me feel this way: Three things I will do today to generate these feelings: Three things I will do this week to generate these feelings: Three things I will do this quarter to generate these feelings: Three people to collaborate with who help me feel this way: The one who asks questions doesn’t lose his way. —African proverb When we have arrived at the question, the answer is already near. —Ralph Waldo Emerson Often just asking a question put changes in motion. Even if you don’t have the answer, a good question stirs up reality. This is why the master poet Rilke implores us to “Live the questions themselves, live them now!” That starts with asking more questions of one another and ourselves. Ceaselessly. 1. WHEN SOMEONE AT A PARTY ASKS YOU WHAT YOU DO, WHAT DO YOU SAY? AND HOW DO YOU FEEL WHEN YOU SAY IT?

This calls for some Buddha-level enlightenment and some old-fashioned objectivity. Try to appreciate the position that the other person is in. Giving honest criticism is no fun for most people, and it’s often a case of “This is going to hurt me as much as it might hurt you.” There’s a decent chance that your critic fretted over how best to deliver the feedback to you. Consider the source. As Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, to succeed is “to earn the appreciation of honest critics.” So, first, you need to consider your source and their motivation. If you feel you’re being inaccurately criticized, then you need to say so in no uncertain terms. This is tricky because you may be perceived as being defensive. In this case, it’s good to collect your thoughts and give a rebuttal that honors your strengths—I’ve given freely…I’ve lifted spirits…I’ve brought in new business—and describes the challenges of the situation.

What is the vehicle for your knowledge? Who wants what you’ve got? (The answer to this is very rarely “everyone.” There are two ways to approach this: values + lifestyle, and “types” of people.) Who needs what you’ve got? (Even though they may not know it yet.) Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. —Ralph Waldo Emerson If it looks good, you’ll see it. If it sounds good, you’ll hear it. If it’s marketed right, you’ll buy it. But if it’s true, you’ll feel it. —Kid Rock If you’re working in the marketing department of a major blue-chip firm crafting eco-friendly slogans to cover up your toxic waste, or at an ad agency devising sexy images about how cans of liquid sugar are going to make us feel groovy, then give me a minute of your time.


pages: 90 words: 27,452

No More Work: Why Full Employment Is a Bad Idea by James Livingston

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, business cycle, collective bargaining, delayed gratification, full employment, future of work, Internet of things, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, obamacare, post-work, Project for a New American Century, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, surplus humans, The Future of Employment, union organizing, working poor

It was creative work and it was unforced by a master. So its performance created intellectual as well as economic independence, and therefore the possibility of citizenship. If you were independent in this twofold sense, you couldn’t be coerced or duped by the wealthy men who lived off the labor of slaves and serfs. You were your own boss, as we would put it today: you answered to nobody. Centuries later, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Abraham Lincoln spoke this same language. In “Man the Reformer,” a lecture first given at a library founded by mechanics’ apprentices in 1841, Emerson introduced what he called the “doctrine of the Farm.” He sounds like an innocent ancestor of Hannah Arendt, Richard Sennett, or Matthew B. Crawford in doing so—in saying that “every man ought to stand in primary relations with the work of the world, ought to do it himself.”

.: The Committee, 1964), 6, 10. 8.Technology and the American Economy: Report of the National Commission on Technology, Automation, and Economic Progress (Washington, D.C.: National Printing Office, 1966), 40. Chapter 2 1. Karl Marx, Capital (New York: International Publishers, 1967), 1:183–84. 2. From a letter to a Russian friend, P. V. Annenkov, in December 28, 1846, appendix to Karl Marx, The Poverty of Philosophy (New York: International Publishers, 1963), 181. 3. Ralph Waldo Emerson, “A Lecture Read before the Mechanics’ Apprentices’ Library Association, Boston, January 25, 1841,” in Nature: Addresses and Lectures (Boston: J. Munroe, 1849). Chapter 3 1. Thomas Edsall, “Is the Safety Net Just Masking Tape?,” New York Times, December 17, 2013; italics mine. 2. David Ellerman, “Rethinking Common vs. Private Property,” DavidEllerman.com. http://www.ellerman.org/rethinking-common-vs-private-property/ (April 15, 2016). 3.


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 cycle, 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 Heinemeier Hansson, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, Donald Knuth, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Santayana, Gödel, Escher, Bach, high net worth, hindsight bias, index card, inventory management, iterative process, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, loose coupling, loss aversion, Marc Andreessen, 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, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, Yogi Berra

No matter who you are or what you’re trying to do, you’re about to discover a useful new way of looking at business that will help you spend less time fighting your fears and more time doing things that make a difference. You Don’t Need to Know It All As to methods, there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble. —RALPH WALDO EMERSON, ESSAYIST AND POET One of the beautiful things about learning any subject is the fact that you don’t need to know everything—you only need to understand a few critically important concepts that provide most of the value. Once you have a solid scaffold of core principles to work from, building upon your knowledge and making progress becomes much easier. The Personal MBA is a set of foundational business concepts you can use to get things done.

When the market crashed, a bank’s losses were magnified by the amount of Leverage they had taken on, which was more than enough to threaten the entire firm’s existence. Using Leverage is playing with fire—it can be a useful tool if used properly, but it can also burn you severely. Never use Leverage unless you’re fully aware of the consequences and are prepared to accept them. Otherwise, you’re putting your business and personal financial situation at risk. Hierarchy of Funding Money often costs too much. —RALPH WALDO EMERSON, ESSAYIST AND POET Imagine you’ve invented an antigravity device that can levitate solid objects without requiring much power. Your invention will revolutionize the transportation and manufacturing industries, making many new products possible. Demand for your invention is a given—all you need to do is create enough devices to fill the demand. There’s a problem, however—estimates indicate that tooling up a production line with the equipment you need to build these devices will cost $1 billion.

Understanding how we take in information, how we make decisions, and how we decide what to do or what not to do is critically important if you want to create and sustain a successful business venture. Once you have a clear picture of how the human mind works, it’s easy to find better ways to get things done and work more effectively with others. SHARE THIS CONCEPT: http://book.personalmba.com/human-mind/ Caveman Syndrome Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors. —RALPH WALDO EMERSON Imagine for a moment what it would be like to have lived 100,000 years ago. Your senses are on full alert as you walk along the banks of a river, scanning for food: fish swimming in the stream, edible plants, or animals to catch. The sun is nearing its apex, and you’ve already walked six miles today—your callused feet will take you six miles more before the day is done. In a few hours, you’ll stop for some water and find shade: the mid-afternoon sun is blazingly hot, and rest will help you Conserve Energy (discussed later).


pages: 325 words: 99,983

Globish: How the English Language Became the World's Language by Robert McCrum

Alistair Cooke, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, colonial rule, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, Etonian, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, invention of movable type, invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, jimmy wales, knowledge economy, Livingstone, I presume, Martin Wolf, Naomi Klein, Norman Mailer, Parag Khanna, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, sceptred isle, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile

How to make sense? How to be heard? How to be understood? If you can see where the roots of global English and its predominantly American culture are planted, how and why they evolved and what contributed to its special character, you might feel more confident about the world we are in, and be at peace with it. 5 Writing merely of the English language, the celebrated American critic Ralph Waldo Emerson noted that it was ‘the sea which receives tributaries from every region under heaven’. In the new millennium English and the numberless manifestations of its culture surround us like a sea; and like the waters of the deep, it is full of mysteries. Why do some Germans idolize Shakespeare? How did a soccer trophy sponsor peace among warring factions in Iraq? Why does a leading Japanese artist, Norio Ueno, copy English words and phrases into his otherwise abstract artworks?

In the end, the Anglo-Saxon settlement proved as vulnerable as the Roman, and its obsession with the transitoriness of life came into its own. In the eighth century as much as the fifth, an island with the promise of minerals would always be attractive to invaders. For the next three hundred years the English experienced another foreign occupation in which their culture would be forced to adapt or face annihilation. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘Mixture is a secret of the English island.’ This time, the enemy from the sea was symbolic of a wider European phenomenon. 5 The mass movement of the Scandinavian peoples between the years 750 and 1050, one of the great migrations of European history, began as seasonal plunder-raids and ended as conquest and settlement. Collectively these people are known as the Vikings, a name thought to come either from the Norse vik (’a bay’), indicating ‘one who frequents inlets of the sea’, or from the Old English wic, a camp – the formation of temporary encampments was a prominent feature of Viking raids.

This inculcation of Standard American English was an early consequence of independence, and culturally for the American people every bit as important. 5 Noah Webster’s was just one practical response to the challenge of independence. Throughout American society the idea of radical innovation was expressed in all manner of ways, both homespun and high-flown. The mood of can-do enthusiasm reached up even as far as the great American critic, the ‘Transcendentalist’ Ralph Waldo Emerson, who, in his Phi Beta Kappa address at Harvard University of 1837, defined the American way as a ceaseless quest for originality as well as for a liberation from the burden of the past, especially in its European manifestations. The American scholar, Emerson declared, ‘plies the slow, unhonored, and unpaid task of observation … He is one who raises himself from private considerations, and breathes and lives on public and illustrious thoughts.


pages: 370 words: 99,312

Can Democracy Work?: A Short History of a Radical Idea, From Ancient Athens to Our World by James Miller

Berlin Wall, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, Donald Trump, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, income inequality, Joseph Schumpeter, mass incarceration, means of production, Occupy movement, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transatlantic slave trade, union organizing, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto

Harold Rosenberg, “The Herd of Independent Minds: Has the Avant-Garde Its Own Mass Culture?,” Commentary, September 1, 1948, www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/the-herd-of-independent-mindshas-the-avant-garde-its-own-mass-culture. “I do not wish to expiate but to live”: Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” in Emerson, Essays and Lectures (New York: Library of America, 1983), 263, 262. “a new degree of culture”: Emerson, “Circles,” ibid., 408. “Some fetish of a government”: Emerson, “The American Scholar,” ibid., 64. “make the gallows as glorious as the cross”: See James Elliot Cabot, A Memoir of Ralph Waldo Emerson (Boston, 1888), 2:597. When the self-reliant Emersonian: Cf. Henry David Thoreau, Collected Essays and Poems (New York: Library of America, 2001), 396–421. “it is read equally in the parlor and the kitchen”: Quoted in Richardson, Emerson, 508.

Because they were more attuned to the psychic discords of American national identity, the producers of America’s demotic culture were able to play a leading role in articulating conflicting desires, fears, and dreams that were barely expressible in the realm of electoral politics. Consider, for example, the paradoxical convergence in antebellum America of popular interest in the northern states in Ralph Waldo Emerson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and the minstrel show—a cultural convergence that helped set the stage for the Civil War and the subsequent abolition of slavery. Emerson became the architect of a popular philosophy for the new nation by lecturing on the Lyceum circuit of organizations that sponsored public events meant to promote “the universal diffusion of knowledge” to the general public. As the prophet of a new secular gospel of “self-reliance” (not so different from that preached by Nietzsche in Europe a generation later), Emerson provided a quasi-religious sanction for the American cult of individualism—this, in essence, is what the American critic Irving Howe meant when he described Emersonianism as America’s characteristic “ideology” (one that fosters what another cultural critic derided as “the herd of independent minds”).

A COMMERCIAL REPUBLIC OF FREE INDIVIDUALS American distrust of popular passions; the tempering influence of commerce in eighteenth-century America ||| 1776: Thomas Paine, Common Sense, and the Declaration of Independence ||| the ambiguous place of democracy in America during the revolutionary era ||| modern democracy from France to America: the democratic-republican societies of the 1790s ||| the American dream of a commercial democracy ||| America’s first great demagogue, Andrew Jackson ||| Tocqueville celebrates the Fourth of July in Albany, New York, 1831 ||| Tocqueville on democracy as an egalitarian form of life ||| the strange insurrection over the right to vote in Rhode Island, 1842 ||| Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and the American struggle over the franchise ||| demotic culture in America: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, minstrelsy ||| Walt Whitman’s Democratic Vistas and the fantasy of a democracy still to come FOUR. A STRUGGLE FOR POLITICAL AND SOCIAL EQUALITY The Chartists and the London Democratic Association; the first Chartist Convention and first Chartist petition, 1839 ||| Karl Marx’s ambivalence about democracy; communism as the realization of individual freedom and social equality ||| conflict as the paradoxical essence of nascent modern democratic societies ||| Mazzini and his democratic faith in cosmopolitan nationalism ||| the Paris Commune of 1871 ||| the Commune as revolutionary icon ||| the rise of mass political parties; the case of the German Social Democratic Party ||| the Russian general strike of 1905 and the St.


pages: 243 words: 66,908

Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Meadows. Donella, Diana Wright

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, clean water, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, game design, Gunnar Myrdal, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, peak oil, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Stanford prison experiment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Whole Earth Review

From them, from shared social agreements about the nature of reality, come system goals and information flows, feedbacks, stocks, flows, and everything else about systems. No one has ever said that better than Ralph Waldo Emerson: Every nation and every man instantly surround themselves with a material apparatus which exactly corresponds to . . . their state of thought. Observe how every truth and every error, each a thought of some man’s mind, clothes itself with societies, houses, cities, language, ceremonies, newspapers. Observe the ideas of the present day . . . see how timber, brick, lime, and stone have flown into convenient shape, obedient to the master idea reigning in the minds of many persons. . . . It follows, of course, that the least enlargement of ideas . . . would cause the most striking changes of external things.7 Ralph Waldo Emerson, The ancient Egyptians built pyramids because they believed in an afterlife.

Forrester, Urban Dynamics (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1969), 65. 4. Thanks to David Holmstrom of Santiago, Chile. 5. For an example, see Dennis Meadows’s model of commodity price fluctuations: Dennis L. Meadows, Dynamics of Commodity Production Cycles (Cambridge, MA: Wright-Allen Press, Inc., 1970). 6. John Kenneth Galbraith, The New Industrial State (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1967). 7. Ralph Waldo Emerson, “War,” lecture delivered in Boston, March, 1838. Reprinted in Emerson’s Complete Works, vol. XI, (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1887), 177. 8. Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962). Chapter Seven 1. G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1927). 2. For a beautiful example of how systems thinking and other human qualities can be combined in the context of corporate management, see Peter Senge’s book The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization (New York: Doubleday, 1990). 3.


pages: 266 words: 80,018

The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man by Luke Harding

affirmative action, airport security, Anton Chekhov, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Berlin Wall, Chelsea Manning, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Etonian, Firefox, Google Earth, Jacob Appelbaum, job-hopping, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, kremlinology, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, MITM: man-in-the-middle, national security letter, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, Steve Jobs, undersea cable, web application, WikiLeaks

According to Greenwald, he was convinced of the rightness of his actions, intellectually, emotionally and psychologically. In the aftermath of his leaks, Snowden recognised imprisonment would surely follow. But during that momentous summer he radiated a sense of tranquility and equanimity. He had reached a rock-like place of inner certainty. Here, nothing could touch him. 1 TheTrueHOOHA Ellicott City, near Baltimore December 2001 ‘Nothing at last is sacred but the integrity of one’s own mind.’ RALPH WALDO EMERSON, ‘Self-Reliance’, Essays: First Series In late December 2001, someone calling themselves ‘TheTrueHOOHA’ had a question. TheTrueHOOHA was an 18-year-old American male, an avid gamer, with impressive IT skills and a sharp intelligence. His real identity was unknown. But then everyone who posted on Ars Technica, a popular technology website, did so anonymously. Most contributors were young men.

Lon was an officer in the US coast guard; Snowden spent his early years in Elizabeth City, along North Carolina’s coast, where the coast guard has its biggest air and naval base. He has an older sister, Jessica. Like other members of the US forces, Snowden Snr has strong patriotic views. He is a conservative. And a libertarian. But he is also a thoughtful conservative. Snowden’s father is articulate, well-read and quotes the works of the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, who advocated a man adhering to his own principles against the dictates of a corrupt state. On joining the coast guard, Lon Snowden swore an oath to uphold the US constitution and the Bill of Rights. He meant it. For him the oath was not just a series of empty phrases: it underpinned the solemn American contract between a citizen and the state. When Snowden was small – a boy with thick blond hair and a toothy smile – he and his family moved to Maryland, within DC’s commuter belt.

Five days later Mills removes her blog. She also wonders publicly about deleting her Twitter account. A creative body of work stretching back over several years, it includes dozens of photos of herself, and some of her E. ‘To delete or not to delete?’ she tweets. She doesn’t delete. 3 THE SOURCE Gavea, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil December 2012 ‘Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.’ RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Self-reliance and Other Essays From the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain, the city of Rio de Janeiro appears as a precipitous swirl of greens and browns. In the sky, black vultures turn in slow spirals. Below – far below – is downtown and a shimmer of skyscrapers. Fringing it are beaches and breakers frothing endlessly on a turquoise sea. Standing above, arms outstretched, is the art deco statue of Christ the Redeemer.


pages: 384 words: 112,971

What’s Your Type? by Merve Emre

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, card file, correlation does not imply causation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, God and Mammon, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, index card, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, late capitalism, means of production, Menlo Park, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, p-value, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Socratic dialogue, Stanford prison experiment, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce

To meet oneself: Katharine Briggs, “Meet Yourself: How to Use the Personality Paint Box,” New Republic, December 22, 1926. “Fortunate are they”: Joseph Jastrow, Plotting Your Life: The Psychologist as Helmsman (New York: Greenberg, 1930), 361. In 1734: Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (Philadelphia: McCarty and Davis, 1821), 17. In 1750: Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac (New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2007), 58. In 1831: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1965), 75. “A new idea”: Walter Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007), 113. She asked him to clarify: Katharine Briggs to C. G. Jung, August 23, 1927, Hs 1056:1083, C. G. Jung Papers Collection, ETH-Bibliothek (Zurich, Switzerland). Hereafter ETH. “Dear Madam”: C. G. Jung to Katharine Briggs, September 13, 1927, Folder 16, Box 4331, KCB.

Western philosophy had, for centuries, set forth a similar argument, from the Socratic dialogues to the writings of the Cynics, the Stoics, the Epicureans, and even the early Christians. In 1734, Alexander Pope had started his poem “An Essay on Man” with the command “Know then thyself, presume not God to scan, / The proper study of mankind is Man.” In 1750, Benjamin Franklin, one of Katharine’s heroes, had quipped, “There are three Things extremely hard, Steel, a Diamond, and to know one’s self.” In 1831, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the poet whose work had inspired William James’s theory of a personal religion, urged each person to “know thyself” so that he might find the “God in thee.” Katharine’s article was just the most recent node in a long intellectual tradition that stretched across the Atlantic and back. But in the pages of the New Republic, the idea of meeting yourself was presented in a tone of definitive, cheerful accessibility that made the journey to self-discovery seem accessible—fun, even.

These were the easy truces that could be struck when one knew one’s type. It took only three days on Lake Zurich for Murray to diagnose Jung’s “cathexis for women”: his “adoration, adulation” of his female patients and the female sex more generally. Nevertheless, he took Jung’s advice and decided to take his life into his own hands. He and Christiana Morgan became lovers, and together they reread Jung and Melville, Ralph Waldo Emerson and William James, and discussed how they could make Jung’s language of the self the cornerstone of modern personality psychology. “To go on with what Jung has begun would be the biggest thing that could be done at the present time. Is there a bigger whale or whiter whale than the chains of the outworn attitude which fetter and hinder the spirit?” they whispered, coiled naked in the dark.


pages: 287 words: 80,050

The Wisdom of Frugality: Why Less Is More - More or Less by Emrys Westacott

Airbnb, back-to-the-land, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Bonfire of the Vanities, carbon footprint, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate raider, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, Diane Coyle, discovery of DNA, Downton Abbey, dumpster diving, financial independence, full employment, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, loss aversion, McMansion, means of production, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, negative equity, New Urbanism, paradox of thrift, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, the market place, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, Veblen good, Zipcar

For research supporting the general idea that becoming accustomed to something as the norm interferes with our ability to derive enjoyment from lesser versions of that sort of thing, see Christopher Hsee, Reid Hastie, and Jinquin Chen, “Hedonomics: Bridging Decision Research with Happiness Research,” Perspectives on Psychological Science 3, no. 3 (2008): 224–43. 47. Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The American Scholar,” in Selections from Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. Stephen E. Whicher (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1957), p. 78. 48. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, III, p. 28. 49. Ibid., p. 27. 50. Seneca, “Consolation of Helva,” in The Stoic Philosophy of Seneca, p. 117. 51. Epicurus, “Fragments,” in The Stoic and Epicurean Philosophers, p. 51. 52. Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994). 53.

As Wordsworth succinctly put it: One impulse from a vernal wood Can teach you more of man, Of moral evil, and of good, Than all the sages can.12 But probably the best-known modern example of an individual choosing to live in rustic simplicity, away from the artificiality and sophistication of urban society (and its accompanying expenses), in order to be closer to nature is Henry David Thoreau. In 1845 Thoreau built a small cabin on land owned by his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson close to Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts, and lived there for a little over two years. The literary fruit of this experiment in living was Walden; or, Life in the Woods, a strange combination in one book of memoir, naturalist observations, philosophical reflections, and social commentary. Thoreau’s detractors like to point out that his experiment was slightly less radical than readers of Walden might think, since he maintained contact with family and friends throughout his sojourn, often enjoying meals at their houses.


pages: 402 words: 126,835

The Job: The Future of Work in the Modern Era by Ellen Ruppel Shell

3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, big-box store, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, follow your passion, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, game design, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, immigration reform, income inequality, industrial robot, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban renewal, white picket fence, working poor, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game

Google, the world’s most sought-after employer Katie Little and Denise Garcia, “The 40 Most Attractive Employers in America, According to LinkedIn,” CNBC, June 20, 2016, http://www.cnbc.com/​2016/​06/​19/​the-40-most-attractive-employers-in-america-according-to-linkedin.html. seeing only the price of fish Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson (New York: Sully and Kleinteich), 9:9. “strut about so many walking monsters” This from Emerson’s lecture “The American Scholar,” delivered to a class at Harvard College in 1837; Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays and English Traits (New York: P. F. Collier, 1909). digital fabrication will be “so powerful” Stephanie Shipp et al., Emerging Global Trends in Advanced Manufacturing, IDA Paper P-4603 (Alexandria, VA: Institute for Defense Analysis, 2012). “cost reduction via the replacement of labor” Michael Spence, “Labor’s Digital Displacement,” Project Syndicate, May 22, 2014, https://www.project-syndicate.org/​commentary/​michael-spence-describes-an-era-in-which-developing-countries-can-no-longer-rely-on-vast-numbers-of-cheap-workers?

With punk, anyone with a guitar and a lot of passion could make music. They wouldn’t get rich necessarily, but some of them could make a living. So this is punk manufacturing. Suddenly, thanks to cheap hardware, cheap software, and the Internet, all of us can make stuff. If this movement launches a slew of small businesses like mine, I think it will have an impact every bit as great as the Internet.” The nineteeth-century philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson once famously spoke out against the strictly utilitarian criteria of value, whereby one was judged not by one’s character but by one’s productivity, which he compared to gazing into the ocean and seeing only the price of fish. His insight was that the emerging corporation and its factory system had atomized work and robbed workers of their humanity. He wrote: “The state of society is one in which the members have suffered amputation from the trunk, and strut about so many walking monsters—a good finger, a neck, a stomach, an elbow, but never a man.”


pages: 291 words: 88,879

Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone by Eric Klinenberg

big-box store, carbon footprint, David Brooks, deindustrialization, deskilling, employer provided health coverage, equal pay for equal work, estate planning, fear of failure, financial independence, fixed income, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, longitudinal study, mass incarceration, New Urbanism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, Richard Florida, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

“Expressive individualism,” as exemplified by Walt Whitman, advocates cultivating and “celebrating” the self (as the poet put it in the first line of the first edition of Leaves of Grass). This view has inspired America’s ongoing search for identity and meaning. Though these two strains of individualism promote different values and agendas, together they offer Americans a well of cultural resources for putting the self before society. We draw from them often. Consider Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of America’s first public intellectuals. In his powerful essay “Self-Reliance,” Emerson warned that “society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members,” and he offered advice for those seeking relief: “Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world.”12 Emerson’s neighbor Henry David Thoreau made the case for self-reliance in more dramatic fashion, moving into a cabin he built near Walden Pond.

On the durability of one-person households, see Toni Richards, Michael White, and Amy Ong Tsui, “Changing Living Arrangements: A Hazard Model of Transitions Among Household Types,” Demography 24, no. 1 (1987): 77–97. On their prevalence, see Euromonitor International, “Single Living: How Atomisation—The Rise of Singles and One-Person Households—Is Affecting Consumer Purchasing Habits,” 2008. 11. The statistics on living alone are from the 2006–2008 American Community Survey Three-Year Estimates, published by the U.S. Census Bureau. 12. See Harold Bloom, Ralph Waldo Emerson (New York: Chelsea House, 1985); David Potter, “American Individualism in the Twentieth Century,” in Ronald Gross and Paul Osterman (eds.), Individualism: Man in Modern Society (New York: Dell, 1971). On Franklin as the “quintessential American,” see Robert Bellah, Richard Madsen, William Sullivan, Ann Swidler, and Steven Tipton, Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007 [1981]). 13.

Bellah, Robert, Richard Madsen, William Sullivan, Ann Swidler, and Steven Tipton. Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007 [1981]. Belle, Deborah. “Gender Differences in Children’s Social Networks and Supports,” in Deborah Belle (ed.), Children’s Networks and Social Supports, pp. 173–90. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, 1989. Bloom, Harold. Ralph Waldo Emerson. New York: Chelsea House, 1985. Borgegård, Lars-Erik, and Jim Kemeny. “Sweden: High-Rise Housing for a Low-Density Country,” in Richard Turkington, Ronald van Kempen, and F. Wassenberg (eds.), High-Rise Housing in Europe: Current Trends and Future Prospects, pp. 31–48. Delft, Netherlands: Delft University Press, 2004. Bramlett, Matthew, and William Mosher. “First Marriage Dissolution, Divorce, and Remarriage: United States.”


Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society by Nicholas A. Christakis

agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, assortative mating, Cass Sunstein, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, different worldview, disruptive innovation, double helix, epigenetics, experimental economics, experimental subject, invention of agriculture, invention of gunpowder, invention of writing, iterative process, job satisfaction, Joi Ito, joint-stock company, land tenure, Laplace demon, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, means of production, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, out of africa, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, replication crisis, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, social web, stem cell, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, twin studies, ultimatum game, zero-sum game

Rejecting their contemporaries’ social strictures—most of them, anyway—they were convinced that people could voluntarily and happily suppress self-interest in the name of collective interest and that it was possible to free themselves from a corrupt past and start history anew. The urge to rebuild a nation that had yet to celebrate even one centenary became almost a fetish among some philosophers, writers, and clergy even as they worried that their idealism might be seen as all talk and no action. “We are all a little wild here with numberless projects of social reform,” wrote Thoreau’s friend, transcendental philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, in 1840, and “not a reading man but has a draft of a new community in his waistcoat pocket.”17 Many experiments were attempted in Emerson’s neighborhood, most notably the famous effort at Brook Farm. Brook Farm The utopian community of Brook Farm, in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, was typical of its time. Brook Farm was the brainchild of George Ripley (1802–1880). As a young man, he hoped to study in Europe, but his plans were thwarted by his lack of means, and he was forced to go to “the cheapest stall where education can be bought,” which was the Harvard Divinity School.18 He graduated in 1826 and served as a Unitarian minister in Boston for more than a decade, accumulating a library of books on European philosophy that were so valuable, he was able to use them as collateral for a four-hundred-dollar loan when he founded Brook Farm.

Children addressed their teacher Sophia Ripley by her first name, and as Blair recollected, “She seemed to permeate her pupils with a joyous confidence in their individual ability to tread the path so clearly and pleasantly indicated by her.”29 Most profoundly, the children were seen as having an absolute right to education—“not doled out to him as though he was a pupil of orphan asylums and almshouses—not as the cold benefice and bounty of the world—but as his right—a right conferred upon him by the very fact that he is born into this world a human being.”30 Unlike other utopian experiments in the nineteenth century, Brook Farm did not require participants to abandon their nuclear families or sever all ties with the outside world, so the happenings at Brook Farm were breathlessly reported in the popular press of the time. One Farmer would later note that “there were thousands who looked upon us as little less than heathens, who had returned to a state of semi-barbarism.”31 Many of the leading lights of the transcendentalist movement, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bronson Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, and Theodore Parker, passed through the commune. Early feminist and writer Margaret Fuller was also a frequent visitor and resident. Frederick Pratt recalled “the jolly time we children had together, and the use made of our boys’ wheelbarrows or wagons in carrying the girls about; 15 or 18 years afterwards, my brother John married Annie Alcott. Louisa became a writer, and John Brooks and the Little Men became famous.”32 So what, exactly, went wrong with such an appealing tableau?

Anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss observed that binary opposition (male/female, good/evil, hot/cold, conservative/liberal, human/animal, body/soul, nature/nurture, and so forth) is one of the simplest and most widespread ways that humans come to terms with complexities in the natural world.85 Unsurprisingly, this tendency to categorize is also applied to social life, demarcating the difference between us and them, between friend and foe. Friendship is a fundamental category, and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson was onto something when he said, “A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of Nature.”86 Yet scientists have tended to neglect the role friends have played in the life of our species. An extreme focus on kinship and marriage has obscured the more numerous relationships people have with unrelated friends. These friends are also, after all, the primary members of the social groups we form and live within.87 Friendship and in-group bias are indeed universal.


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Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice From the Best in the World by Timothy Ferriss

23andMe, A Pattern Language, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, dematerialisation, don't be evil, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, family office, fear of failure, Gary Taubes, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Google Hangouts, Gödel, Escher, Bach, haute couture, helicopter parent, high net worth, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, income inequality, index fund, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Naomi Klein, non-fiction novel, Peter Thiel, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Tesla Model S, too big to fail, Turing machine, uber lyft, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

Instantly I felt free and in control. I knew from then on that I could have the courage to fail on my own terms. From that moment, I decided that if I was going to succeed or fail, it was going to be up to me. I was changed forever. If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say and why? “God will not have his work made manifest by cowards.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson I love this quote because it is all about defeating fear. Every great and extraordinary accomplishment in this world was done through courage. Hell, you don’t even get to be born unless your mother has the courage to have you. I repeat this phrase when I’m anxious or nervous about something. I ask myself, what’s the worst that can happen. Usually, the answer is, “You can die.” Then I answer back, “I’d rather die doing something I feel is great and amazing rather than be safe and comfortable living a life I hate.”

If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say and why? Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by? I have a few of them: “To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children . . . to leave the world a bit better . . . to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson “Some men see things as they are and say ‘why?’ I dream of things that never were and say ‘why not?’”—Robert Kennedy “Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to another: ‘What? You too? I thought I was the only one.’”—C. S. Lewis “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case you fail by default.”

Quotes I’m Pondering (Tim Ferriss: April 1–April 15, 2016) “Genius is only a superior power of seeing.” –John Ruskin Victorian polymath, art critic, philanthropist, and social thinker “As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson American essayist, leader of the 19th-century transcendentalist movement “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.” –Bill Gates Co-founder of Microsoft “Multiplicity of perspectives is essential to making us who we are.


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The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Plans to go to Egypt and Mecca had fallen through at the last moment, but in the spring of 1799, Humboldt had had the good fortune to meet King Charles IV of Spain and had persuaded him to underwrite his exploration of South America. Humboldt was to be away from Europe for five years. On his return, he settled in Paris and over the next twenty years published a thirty-volume account of his travels, entitled Journey to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent. The length of the work was an accurate measure of Humboldt's achievements. Surveying these, Ralph Waldo Emerson was to write, ‘Humboldt was one of those wonders of the world, like Aristotle, like Julius Caesar, like the Admirable Crichton, who appear from time to time as if to show us the possibilities of the human mind, the force and range of the faculties—a universal man.' Much about South America was still unknown to Europe when Humboldt set sail from La Coruna: Vespucci and Bougainville had travelled around the shores of the continent, and La Condamine and Bouguer had surveyed the streams and mountains of the Amazon and of Peru, but there were still no accurate maps of the region, and little information had been gathered on its geology, botany and indigenous peoples.

Thomas Gray, Letters (1739): ‘There are certain scenes that would awe an atheist into belief without the help of any other argument' Thomas Cole, ‘Essay on American Scenery' (1835): Amid those scenes of solitude from which the hand of nature has never been lifted, the associations are of God the creator—they are his undefiled works, and the mind is cast into the contemplation of eternal things.' Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘Nature' (1836): ‘The noblest ministry of nature is to stand as the apparition of God.' It is no coincidence that the Western attraction to sublime landscapes developed at precisely the moment when traditional beliefs in God began to wane. It is as if these landscapes allowed travellers to experience transcendent feelings that they no longer felt in cities and the cultivated countryside.


Who Rules the World? by Noam Chomsky

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, corporate governance, corporate personhood, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, liberation theology, Malacca Straits, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, one-state solution, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, Stanislav Petrov, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, union organizing, uranium enrichment, wage slave, WikiLeaks, working-age population

Desmond King, “America’s Hidden Government: The Costs of a Submerged State,” review of The Submerged State: How Invisible Government Policies Undermine American Democracy, by Suzanne Mettler, in Foreign Affairs 91, no. 3 (May/June 2012). 18. Robert W. McChesney, “Public Scholarship and the Communications Policy Agenda,” in … And Communications for All: A Policy Agenda for a New Administration, ed. Amit M. Schejter (New York: Lexington Books, 2009), 50. 19. Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Prose Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson: In Two Volumes (Boston: Fields, Osgood, and Company, 1870). 20. Michael Crozier, Samuel P. Huntington, and Joji Watanuke, The Crisis of Democracy: Report on the Governability of Democracies to the Trilateral Commission (New York: New York University Press, 1975), http://www.trilateral.org/download/doc/crisis_of_democracy.pdf. 21. Margaret E. McGuinness, “Peace v.

Its U.S. counterpart, the Committee on Public Information, was formed by Woodrow Wilson to drive a pacifist population to violent hatred of all things German—with remarkable success. American commercial advertising deeply impressed others; Joseph Goebbels admired it and adapted it to Nazi propaganda, all too successfully.18 The Bolshevik leaders tried as well, but their efforts were clumsy and ineffective. A primary domestic task has always been “to keep [the public] from our throats,” as essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson described the concerns of political leaders when the threat of democracy was becoming harder to suppress in the mid-nineteenth century.19 More recently, the activism of the 1960s elicited elite concerns about “excessive democracy” and calls for measures to impose “more moderation” in democracy. One particular concern was to introduce better controls over the institutions “responsible for the indoctrination of the young”: the schools, the universities, and the churches, which were seen as failing that essential task.


pages: 538 words: 145,243

Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World by Joshua B. Freeman

anti-communist, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate raider, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, factory automation, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, joint-stock company, knowledge worker, mass immigration, means of production, mittelstand, Naomi Klein, new economy, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Pearl River Delta, post-industrial society, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, Vanguard fund, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, zero-sum game

(New York: George H. Evans, 1833), 19. 57.Fisher, Workshops in the Wilderness, 165; Emerson quoted in Kasson, Civilizing the Machine, 124–25. Earlier, Emerson had hailed manufacturing for freeing New England from the need to farm under uncongenial conditions: “Where they have sun, let them plant; we who have it not, will drive our pens and water-wheels.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edward Waldo Emerson, and Waldo Emerson Forbes, Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson with Annotations, vol. IV (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1910), 209. 58.Zonderman, Aspirations and Anxieties, 115–18. 59.As late as 1853, there were over 1,800 children under fifteen working in Rhode Island manufacturing establishments, including 621 between ages nine and twelve and 59 under the age of nine. Luther, An Address to the Working Men of New England, 10, 21–22, 30; Ware, Early New England Cotton Manufacture, 210; Jonathan Prude, The Coming of Industrial Order: Town and Factory Life in Rural Massachusetts, 1810–1860 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), 86, 213. 60.Trollope, North America, 253; John Robert Godley, Letters from America, vol. 1 (London: John Murray, 1844), 7–11; Edward Bellamy, “How I Wrote ‘Looking Backwards,’” in Edward Bellamy Speaks Again (Chicago: Peerage Press, 1937), 218, quoted in Kasson, Civilizing the Machine, 192.

As a result, New England mill towns had none of the black smoke and soot so characteristic of British industry. When the growth of Lowell and the planning of Lawrence presented the possibility that companies on the Merrimack would run out of water power, instead of installing steam engines the mill owners bought real estate and water privileges at the outlet of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, over sixty miles away, to direct more water into the river (outraging Ralph Waldo Emerson for what he saw as arrogance).28 The corporate arrangements adopted by the Boston textile investors allowed expansion on a scale unprecedented for manufacturing. In 1850, the mills they controlled accounted for about a fifth of all the cotton spinning in the United States. In Lowell alone, in 1857 the ten mill companies, the Lowell Bleachery, and the Lowell Machine Shop (spun off from Canals and Locks) together employed over thirteen thousand workers.29 But the Lowell model did not take full advantage of potential efficiencies that came with size.

His mind being filled with sensations, which from their novelty, are without a name, he explains, ’tis a paradise.” But for Luther, “if a cotton mill is a ‘paradise,’ it is ‘Paradise Lost,’” a site of unhealthy long hours, poorly paid workers, and tyrannical overseers.56 Critics of New England mill conditions, unlike in England, rarely claimed that factory conditions were as bad as or worse than slavery. Ralph Waldo Emerson was something of an exception when, in a bitter commentary on Lowell, he equated black slaves in the South with female mill worker “slaves” and criticized mill owners for wanting to live in luxury without working, “enjoyment without the sweat.”57 But critics still turned to slavery for metaphors of oppression. An 1844 letter in the Manchester Operative, for instance, likened the mill bell calling workers to their tasks to “a slave driver’s whip,” while for a New Hampshire worker the unrestrained power of overseers was equivalent to that of slave drivers.


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Rush Hour: How 500 Million Commuters Survive the Daily Journey to Work by Iain Gately

Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, Beeching cuts, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, car-free, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Clapham omnibus, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, connected car, corporate raider, DARPA: Urban Challenge, Dean Kamen, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, extreme commuting, global pandemic, Google bus, Henri Poincaré, Hyperloop, Jeff Bezos, lateral thinking, low skilled workers, Marchetti’s constant, postnationalism / post nation state, Ralph Waldo Emerson, remote working, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, telepresence, Tesla Model S, urban planning, éminence grise

In 1843, for instance, a certain Isaac Staats climbed aboard a New Jersey service ‘and the train had gone but a few miles when a “snakehead” passed up through the car, striking Staats under the chin and killing him instantly’. Early American commuters were required to brave spiritual as well as physical dangers. The Transcendentalists, whose mixture of romanticism and metaphysics became fashionable in the glory decades of railroad building, reckoned train travel was bad for the soul. Their opposition to it was all the more bitter because they’d celebrated it in its infancy. When Ralph Waldo Emerson tried to pin down the zeitgeist in his seminal 1844 lecture on the ‘Young American’, he declared that the railroads had given his subjects an ‘increased acquaintance… with the boundless resources of their own soil’; had annihilated time and converted the country into a wonderland, for railroad iron was ‘a magician’s rod, in its power to evoke the sleeping energies of land and water’. When, however, he returned to the same theme a decade later, he now felt that too many Americans were spending too much time on trains, and the passivity of the activity was bad for them: ‘Things are in the saddle / And ride mankind’.

Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States, Oxford, University Press, 1985, p. 48. 68 ‘A man is not a whole and complete man’, Walt Whitman, quoted in Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier, p. 50. 68 ‘in the morning there is one incessant stream of people’, Whitman, quoted in Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier, p. 28. 68 ‘Property is continually tending from our city to escape’, New York Tribune 21 January 1847, quoted in Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier, p. 28. 70 ‘on, on, on – tears the mad dragon’, Charles Dickens, American Notes For General Circulation, 1842, from Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/675/675-h/675-h.htm. 70 ‘and the train had gone but a few miles when a “snakehead”’, Anthony J. Bianculli, Trains and Technology: The American Railroad in the Nineteenth Century: Track and Structures, Newark, University of Delaware Press, 2003, p. 88. 71 ‘Things are in the saddle / And ride mankind’, from ‘Ode to William H. Channing’ in The Early Poems of Ralph Waldo Emerson, New York, and Boston, Thomas Y. Crowell & Company, 1899. 71 ‘five times a day, I can be whirled to Boston within an hour’, Henry David Thoreau, quoted in Shamir, Inexpressible Privacy, p. 190. 71 ‘the main distinction between which’, Dickens, American Notes. 71 ‘well stuffed, and covered with a fine plush,’ quoted in John H. White Jr., The American Railroad Passenger Car, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985, p. 373. 73 ‘We maintain in England our “lonesome stuffy compartments”’, quoted in Olsen, Growth of Victorian London, p. 23. 75 ‘Their pleasantries, their growlings’, quoted in Vincent F.

Turner, ‘The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US Cities’. American Economic Review, 101(6). Dyos, H. J., Exploring the Urban Past: Essays in Urban History, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1982. Eden, Emily, The Semi-detached House, London, Richard Bentley, 1859. Emerson, George Rose, London: How the Great City Grew, London, 1862. Emerson, Ralph Waldo, ‘Ode to William H. Channing’, The Early Poems of Ralph Waldo Emerson, New York and Boston, Thomas Y. Crowell & Company 1899. Engel, Matthew, Eleven Minutes Late: A Train Journey to the Soul of Britain, London, Pan, 2010. Farmer, Richard, Troy Tranah, Ian O’Donnell, and Jose Catalan, ‘Railway suicide: the psychological effects on drivers’. Psychological Medicine, Vol.22, no.2, 1992. Fay, Sam, A Royal Road: Being the History of the London & South Western Railway, from 1825 to the present time, Kingston-on-Thames, W.


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How the Post Office Created America: A History by Winifred Gallagher

British Empire, California gold rush, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, City Beautiful movement, clean water, collective bargaining, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, indoor plumbing, Monroe Doctrine, New Urbanism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, white flight, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration

This amplification had begun back in 1851 and ’52, when daily as well as weekly papers could circulate within their counties of origin for free, postage for periodicals was lowered to the same rate as newspapers, and hardcover books were finally admitted to the mail. Then, in 1863, Postmaster General Montgomery Blair had simplified the pricing system by categorizing the mail into first-class letters, second-class publications such as newspapers and magazines, and third-class advertisements, hardcover books, and other miscellaneous printed matter. By 1870, Ralph Waldo Emerson could laud the post for its “educating energy augmented by cheapness, and guarded by a certain religious sentiment in mankind, so that the power of a wafer or a drop of wax or gluten to guard a letter, as it flies over sea, over land, and comes to its address as if a battalion of artillery brought it, I look upon as a fine meter of civilization.” As the nineteenth century progressed, Americans especially wanted more magazines, whose format was better able to satisfy their thirst for different kinds of knowledge.

“We doubt if there is a building”: Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, December 1859. “Express companies extend their business”: Harper’s Weekly, December 7, 1889. “The effect of such a law”: C. A. Hutsinpillar, “The Parcels Post” (1904), in John, American Postal Network, vol. 4, p. 262. “our great cooperative express company”: James L. Cowles, “A United States Parcels Post,” in ibid., p. 236. “educating energy augmented by cheapness”: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Society and Solitude (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1870), p. 26. “so trashy and wishy-washy”: James Britt, “Second Class Mail Matter: Its Uses and Abuses” (1911), in John, American Postal Network, vol. 4, p. 470. “As long as the people”: Wilmer Atkinson, “Guessing and Figuring Having Failed, Try a Few Ounces of Common Sense” (1911), in John, American Postal Network, vol. 4, p. 455.

“Comstockery is the world’s standing joke”: George Bernard Shaw, Letter to the Editor, New York Times, September 26, 1905, p. 1. an “Irish smut dealer”: “Who’s Bernard Shaw? Asks Mr. Comstock,” New York Times, September 28, 1905, p. 9. “Shall the right to mail service”: Louis Post, “Our Despotic Postal Censorship,” in John, American Postal Network, vol. 1, p. 407. “Good men must not obey the laws”: Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Politics,” Essays: Second Series (Boston: James Munroe, 1844). Quoted in https://emersoncentral.com/politics.htm. If there’s a physical symbol of what the combination of the post at its peak: The Farley Post Office continues to play an important role in the preservation of New York City’s historic buildings. The demolition of Pennsylvania Station, its glorious companion building across the street, in 1963 was the impetus for the establishment of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1965.


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The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell

illegal immigration, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Nelson Mandela, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan

Finally, Reyce tries to dissuade Winthrop with the wilderness’s shocking lack of reading material, carping, “How hard will it be for one brought up among books and learned men, to live in a barbarous place, where is no learning and less civility?” Not so hard, it turns out. Winthrop and his shipmates and their children and their children’s children just wrote their own books and pretty much kept their noses in them up until the day God created the Red Sox. One of the Puritans’ descendants, Ralph Waldo Emerson of Concord, embodied the wordy tradition passed down to him when he announced, “The art of writing is the highest of those permitted to man.” As the twentieth-century critic F. O. Mat thiessen would complain of Emerson’s bookish bent, “It can remind you of the bias of provincial New England, whose higher culture had been so exclusively one of books that it had grown incapable even of appraising the worth of other modes of expression.”

She is the Puritan Oprah—a leader, a guru, a star. Hutchinson, still swooning, spiritually speaking, for Cotton, nevertheless starts departing from her mentor’s lectures and lets rip her own opinions and beliefs. One person keeping an eye on her, both theologically and literally, is John Winthrop, who lives across the street. (The site of her home would later house Ticknor and Fields, the famous book publisher of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and, appropriately, Nathaniel Hawthorne, who, in The Scarlet Letter’s first chapter, misspells her first name but nevertheless honors Hutchinson by describing a rose bush in bloom said to have “sprung up under the footsteps of the sainted Ann Hutchinson, as she entered the prison door” and symbolizing “some sweet moral blossom.” Nowadays, the place is a jewelry store.


pages: 389 words: 112,319

Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Wiles, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Arthur Eddington, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, dark matter, delayed gratification, different worldview, discovery of DNA, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, functional fixedness, Gary Taubes, George Santayana, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Inbox Zero, index fund, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, late fees, lateral thinking, lone genius, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, obamacare, Occam's razor, out of africa, Peter Thiel, Pluto: dwarf planet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra

ABC7, “Pluto Is a Planet Again—At Least in Illinois,” ABC7 Eyewitness News, March 6, 2009, https://abc7chicago.com/archive/6695131. 61. Laurence A. Marschall and Stephen P. Maran, Pluto Confidential: An Insider Account of the Ongoing Battles Over the Status of Pluto (Dallas: Benbella Books, 2009), 4. 62. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, “Exploring the Planets,” https://airandspace.si.edu/exhibitions/exploring-the-planets/online/discovery/greeks.cfm. 63. Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson (New York: Modern Library, 2000), 261. 64. In the Shadow of the Moon, directed by Dave Sington (Velocity/Think Film, 2008), DVD. 65. Virginia P. Dawson and Mark D. Bowles, eds., Realizing the Dream of Flight (Washington, DC: NASA History Division, 2005), 237. 66. Mary Roach, Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void (New York: W.W. Norton, 2010). 67.

Pluto’s story, in his view, would allow teachers to explain why in science, as in life, the path to the right answer is rarely straight. The origin of the word planet makes this clear. Planet is derived from a Greek word that means “wanderer.” Ancient Greeks looked up at the sky and saw objects that moved against the relatively fixed positions of the stars. They called them wanderers.62 Like planets, science wanders. Upheaval precedes progress, and progress generates more upheaval. “People wish to be settled,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson, but “only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.”63 Those who cling to the past get left behind as the world marches forward. As the story of Pluto’s demotion shows, we tend to respond to uncertainty—no matter how benign—as alarming. But the key to growing comfortable with uncertainty is figuring out what’s truly alarming and what’s not. And that requires playing a game of peekaboo.


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Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth by A. O. Scott

barriers to entry, citizen journalism, conceptual framework, death of newspapers, hive mind, Joan Didion, Marshall McLuhan, Ralph Waldo Emerson, sexual politics, sharing economy, social web, the scientific method

The old fable covers a doctrine ever new and sublime; that there is One Man,—present to all particular men only partially, or through one faculty; and that you must take the whole society to find the whole man. Man is not a farmer, or a professor, or an engineer, but he is all. Man is priest, and scholar, and statesman, and producer, and soldier. In the divided or social state, these functions are parcelled out to individuals, each of whom aims to do his stint of the joint work, whilst each other performs his. That is Ralph Waldo Emerson, in “The American Scholar,” going as usual to the mystical heart of the matter. The problem he identifies is not the alienation of the intellectual from society, but rather the estrangement of thinking from the totality of human life. And the consequence of this “divided or social state” is that people appear to one another as stunted creatures worthy of Dr. Mabuse’s island: “[T]he members have suffered amputation from the trunk, and strut about so many walking monsters,—a good finger, a neck, a stomach, an elbow, but never a man.”

Who has ever paused to admire the shape or inflection of a review or a critical essay? Readers of Walter Pater, that’s who. His place in the history of philosophical aesthetics is marginal at best, but that’s just a case of a thinker being excluded from a club in which he never sought membership in the first place. Pater belongs in the canon of English-language Victorian prose artists, along with Thomas Carlyle, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and, of course, Oscar Wilde, the disciple who would eventually surpass him. And at its finest, say when he was writing about the Renaissance paintings he loved and did a great deal to introduce to the modern English-speaking public, Pater’s prose does approach the condition of music, as his thoughts are borne forward on sentences of complex beauty arranged in exquisite balance: Hers is the head upon which all “the ends of the world are come,” and the eyelids are a little weary.


pages: 289 words: 22,394

Virus of the Mind by Richard Brodie

cognitive dissonance, Douglas Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach, joint-stock company, New Journalism, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, publish or perish, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy

I call the institutions that evolved on their own to become self-perpetuating cultural viruses. ttt 146 C hapter nine C ultur al Viruses “Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most request is conformity.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson From the children’s game of “telephone,” we know that it’s difficult to copy memes with 100 percent fidelity even if we want to. When replication occurs with slight changes in the replicator, and those modified replicators are selected somehow for their fitness, then we have evolution. When a concept appears that has all the properties of a virus of the mind, then as it starts spreading through the population, the memes constituting that concept evolve.

The more often you walk down a path, the more it looks like the right way to go. After a few years of thinking liberal thoughts and making decisions based on them—poof! You’re a liberal! It’s much more difficult and energy-consuming to start from scratch on every issue and really think it through than to attempt to be consistent with a particular set of beliefs. 204 Designer Viruses (How to Start a Cult) This is where Ralph Waldo Emerson comes in again, saying, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” I often surprise people with what they perceive to be a lack of consistency in my points of view. Good! It means I’m staying off the cow paths! I wonder what would happen to someone like a Kennedy or Dole if they magically got appointed to the Senate for life and no longer had to be mouthpieces for the Left or Right.


Exoplanets by Donald Goldsmith

Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Carrington event, Colonization of Mars, cosmic abundance, dark matter, Dava Sobel, en.wikipedia.org, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, Kuiper Belt, Magellanic Cloud, Mars Rover, megastructure, Pluto: dwarf planet, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking

At 1.1 and 0.9 solar masses, respectively, the A and B stars govern the gravitational situation: ­Little Proxima has only one-­eighth of the sun’s mass and # of the sun’s luminosity, placing it firmly among the low-­mass, low-­ luminosity stars described in Chapter 9, which dominate the cosmos in numbers if not in brightness. (In astronomical usage, a star’s luminosity specifies the star’s total energy output per second, including all types of radiation such as vis­i­ble light, infrared, and ultraviolet. The luminosity remains in­de­pen­dent of the star’s distance from an observer, which affects the star’s brightness, designated as the star’s “apparent brightness” by astronomers.) As Ralph Waldo Emerson noted, “for ­every ­thing you have missed, you have gained something e­ lse.”6 Unlike the A and B stars, whose joint output makes them the third-­brightest star in the night sky (though they remain forever invisible from mid-­or high northern latitudes), Proxima Centauri’s low luminosity renders it invisible to the unaided eye, close though it may be. A low stellar mass does make exoplanet detection via the radial-­velocity method easier, ­because the star responds more readily to a planet’s 43 EXOPLANETS gravitational tug.

https://­w ww​.­t heglobeandmail​ .­c om​ /­t echnology​ /­s cience​ /­l ost​ -­world​-­how​-­canada​-­missed​-­its​-­moment​-­of​-­glory​/­article4290133​ /­​?­page​=­all. Dava Sobel, A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos (New York: Walker & Com­pany, 2011); Konrad Rudnicki, “The Generalized Cosmological Copernican Princi­ple,” available at http://­southerncrossreview​.­org​/­51​/­rudnicki4​.­htm. Data available at http://­exoplanet​.­eu​/­catalog​/­hd​_­20782​_­b​/­. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Compensation (1841). Data for Proxima Centauri b are available at http://­exoplanet​.­eu​ /­catalog​/­proxima​_­cen​_­b​/­. Ravi Kumar Kopparapu, “A Revised Estimate of the Occurrence Rate of Terrestrial Planets in the Habitable Zones around Kepler M-­ Dwarfs,” Astrophysical Journal Letters 767 (2013): L8. Andrew Howard interview, March 31, 2017. Debra Fischer interview, May 2, 2017. 5.


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Liars and Outliers: How Security Holds Society Together by Bruce Schneier

airport security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, commoditize, corporate governance, crack epidemic, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, desegregation, don't be evil, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Douglas Hofstadter, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, George Akerlof, hydraulic fracturing, impulse control, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invention of gunpowder, iterative process, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock company, Julian Assange, longitudinal study, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, patent troll, phenotype, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, security theater, shareholder value, slashdot, statistical model, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, technological singularity, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, traffic fines, transaction costs, ultimatum game, UNCLOS, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Y2K, zero-sum game

morality to be central William Damon (1984), “Self-Understanding and Moral Development from Childhood to Adolescence, “ in William M. Kurtines and Jacob L. Gewirtz, eds., Morality, Moral Behavior, and Moral Development, John Wiley & Sons. spiritual geniuses René Girard (1999), Je Vois Satan Tomber Comme l'Éclair, Grasset English translation (2001), I See Satan Fall Like Lightning, Orbis Books. Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson (1841), “Self-Reliance,” in Essays: First Series. Henry David Thoreau Henry David Thoreau (1852), Walden. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich Laurel T. Ulrich (2007), Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History, Alfred A. Knopf. Socrates's morals Plato (360 BCE), Crito, tr. Benjamin Jowett, MIT Classics Archive. Plato (360 BCE), Phaedo, tr. Benjamin Jowett, MIT Classics Archive. Anthony D'Amato (1976), “Obligation to Obey the Law: A Study of the Death of Socrates,” California Law Review, 49:1079–1108.

Of course, there's a lot of individual variation. Some people consider their morality to be central to their self-identity, while others consider it to be more peripheral. René Girard uses the term “spiritual geniuses” to describe the most moral of people. We also describe many of them as martyrs; being differently moral can be dangerous.5 Society, of course, wants the group interest to prevail. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs. Henry David Thoreau talks about how he went along with the group norm, despite what his morals told him: The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior.


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Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism by Peter Marshall

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

., p. 53 81 Ibid., p. 49 82 Wilde to Cunninghame Graham, quoted in Ellmann, Oscar Wilde, op. cit., p. 526 83 ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’ (1896), The Works of Oscar Wilde (Collins, c. 1933), p. 197 Chapter Fourteen 1 Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘Politics’ (1844), The Complete Essays and Other Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. Brooks Atkinson (New York: Modern Library, 1940), p. 430; Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. E. W. Emerson & W. E. Forbes (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1909–14), III, 200 2 Journals, op. cit., V, 302–3 3 The Letters of Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. Ralph L. Rusk (New York: Columbia University Press, 1939), I, pp. 412–13 4 Emerson to Walt Whitman, 21 July 1855, quoted by Justin Kaplan, ‘Introduction’, Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1892) (New York: Bantam, 1983), p. xix 5 Whitman, ‘A Backward Glance o’er Travel’d Roads’, ibid., p. 451 6 ‘Thought’, ibid., p. 223 7 ‘A Backward Glance’, ibid., pp. 452–3 8 ‘To the States’, ibid., p. 224 9 ‘To the States’, ibid., p. 7 10 Quoted by W.

While they came close to anarchism, the writers Emerson, Whitman and Thoreau expressed most keenly the libertarian ideal. Their independent stance directly inspired later anarchists and their combination of ‘Transcendental Individualism’ with a search for a creative life close to nature finds echoes in the counter-culture and Green movements of the late-twentieth century. Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson was the elder guru of the Transcendentalists of New England. After Harvard University, he entered the ministry, only to abandon it and sail to Europe, where he became a friend of Carlyle. He returned to Massachusetts and was soon installed as ‘the Sage of Concord’, attracting a literary-philosophical coterie. At Concord, he developed his philosophy — relying on intuition as the only access to reality — in prose of uncommon lyricism.

Leonard Tancock (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966) Dolgoff, Sam, ed., The Anarchist Collectives: Workers’ Self-Management in the Spanish Revolution, 1936–1939 (Montréal: Black Rose, 1974) Dolgoff, Sam, The Cuban Revolution: A Critical Perspective (Montréal: Black Rose, 1976) Emerson, Ralph Waldo, Journals, eds. E. W. Emerson & W. E. Forbes, (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1909–14) Emerson, Ralph Waldo, The Letters of Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. Ralph L. Rusk, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1939) Emerson, Ralph Waldo, The Complete Essays and other Writings, ed. Brooks Atkinson (New York: Modern Library, 1940) Faure, Sébastien, Autorité el liberté (Paris: Aux Bureaux de la Révolte, 1891) Faure, Sébastien, La Douleur universelle, philosophie liberatire (Paris: Savine, 1895) Faure, Sébastien, L’Encyclopédie anarchiste, 4 vols.


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The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia by Andrew Lih

Albert Einstein, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, c2.com, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, crowdsourcing, Debian, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, index card, Jane Jacobs, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, Marshall McLuhan, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, optical character recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Stallman, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, wikimedia commons, Y2K

Bomis partner Tim Shell was glad at the very least that “they were looking for ways to speed it up rather than to shut it down.” Nupedia was too much process, too little volunteer output, and not enough money. And it most certainly wasn’t fun. Something had to change. Chapter 3_ WIKI ORIGINS “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” —Eric S. Raymond (1998) “Our knowledge is the amassed thought and experience of innumerable minds.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson Nupedia was at a standstill at the end of 2000, even though it had gathered a sizeable set of volunteers. Larry and Jimmy knew their concept was not working, because after a year’s worth of work, all the finished articles bound together would have produced only a booklet. Still believing the project had to be centrally edited, they were stuck for new ideas. What the world would come to know as Wikipedia would start just one month later, but not without some controversy.

It would prove later to be a rich resource for Wikipedia, as that nascent community started to run into issues that MeatballWiki had documented and discussed at length. One of the folks who stumbled across the new WikiWikiWeb creation was Ben Kovitz, who was working as a programmer at the time. Remember him? He would provide the lifeline to Nupedia. Chapter 4_ WIKI INTRODUCED “Every artist was first an amateur.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson “History is too serious to be left to historians.” —Ian Macleod After both Larry Sanger and Jimmy Wales found out about WikiWikiWeb software and its use for collaboration, both were keen on it helping kick-start Nupedia’s lackluster pace. Nupedia was simply not working, because people were not collaborating efficiently and articles were not being generated fast enough. The wiki software might just get existing Nupedians to work better, while also allowing more participants from the outside world.


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The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger by Richard Wilkinson, Kate Pickett

basic income, Berlin Wall, clean water, Diane Coyle, epigenetics, experimental economics, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, God and Mammon, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land reform, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, moral panic, offshore financial centre, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, statistical model, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

In the next chapter we will look in a little more detail at why people in the developed world are so sensitive to inequality that it can exert such a major effect on the psychological and social wellbeing of modern populations. 3 How inequality gets under the skin ’Tis very certain that each man carries in his eye the exact indication of his rank in the immense scale of men, and we are always learning to read it. Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Conduct of Life How is it that we are affected as strongly by inequality and our position within society as the data in the last chapter suggest? Before exploring – as we shall in the next nine chapters – the relations between inequality and a wide range of social problems, including those in our Index of Health and Social Problems, we want to suggest why human beings might be so sensitive to inequality.

Greater inequality seems to heighten people’s social evaluation anxieties by increasing the importance of social status. Instead of accepting each other as equals on the basis of our common humanity as we might in more equal settings, getting the measure of each other becomes more important as status differences widen. We come to see social position as a more important feature of a person’s identity. Between strangers it may often be the dominant feature. As Ralph Waldo Emerson, the nineteenth-century American philosopher, said, ‘ ’Tis very certain that each man carries in his eye the exact indication of his rank in the immense scale of men, and we are always learning to read it.’19 Indeed, psychological experiments suggest that we make judgements of each other’s social status within the first few seconds of meeting.20 No wonder first impressions count, and no wonder we feel social evaluation anxieties!


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Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum

air freight, cable laying ship, call centre, Donald Davies, global village, Hibernia Atlantic: Project Express, if you build it, they will come, inflight wifi, invisible hand, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mercator projection, Network effects, New Urbanism, packet switching, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, undersea cable, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

The networked systems are everywhere: cell phones, streetlights, parking meters, ovens, hearing aids, light switches. But all invisible. To see it you had to imagine it, and in that moment I could. But at this point Westesson was late for his next meeting, and becoming a little restless. I had the sense he wasn’t late often. He walked me to the elevator. “Well, we’ve only just scratched the barest surface,” he said. But it seemed we had actually gone quite far. In his essay “Nature,” Ralph Waldo Emerson crosses “a bare common, in snow puddles, at twilight, under a clouded sky.” And yet even that ho-hum journey brings him “a perfect exhilaration. I am glad to the brink of fear.... I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all.” On a journey to the center of the Internet my bare common turned out to be the router lab. And what I saw was not the essence of the Internet but its quintessence—not the tubes, but the light.

In London, I’m grateful for the time and assistance of Tim Anker of the Colocation Exchange; Pat Vicary at Tata; John Souter, Jeremy Orbell, and Colin Silcock at the London Internet Exchange; Nigel and Benedicte Titley; Dionne Aiken, Michelle Reid, and Bob Harris at Telehouse; and Matthew Finnie and Mark Lewis at Interoute. James Tyler and Rob Coupland at Telecity spent the better part of a day showing off their impressive pieces of the Internet. In his essay, “Nature”: Stephen E. Whicher, Selections from Ralph Waldo Emerson: An Organic Anthology (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1957), p. 24. Google announced the purchase of 111 Eighth Avenue: Rich Miller, “Google Confirms Purchase of 111 8th Avenue,” Data Center Knowledge (http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2010/12/22/google-confirms-purchase-of-111-8th-avenue/). the “Ninth Avenue fiber highway”: The phrase caught on among real estate people and spread to the colocation providers.


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Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck

A Pattern Language, active transport: walking or cycling, car-free, carbon footprint, congestion charging, David Brooks, edge city, Edward Glaeser, Enrique Peñalosa, food miles, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, if you build it, they will come, Induced demand, intermodal, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Florida, skinny streets, smart cities, starchitect, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, transit-oriented development, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

The one characteristic that all of us share is that we come from somewhere else. Imagine two brothers eating lunch alongside a dock in Dublin, Palermo, Bombay, or Formosa and looking wistfully out to sea. One of them had the balls to get on a boat and the other one didn’t. Guess whose kids are the Americans? American mobility far precedes the automobile. Before Lewis Mumford declared that “our national flower is the concrete cloverleaf,”1 Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that “everything good is on the highway.” Soon after him, Walt Whitman waxed: “O public road, I say back I am not afraid to leave you—yet I love you. You express me better than I can express myself.”2 But it is an easy out to say that wayfaring is an inescapable part of our DNA, and ignore the other factors that make cities in the United States different from those in Canada or Australia—two other countries that at least started the way ours did.

Owen, 2–3, 17. 20. Peter Newman, Timothy Beatley, and Heather Boyer, Resilient Cities, 7, 88. 21. Ibid., 92. 22. John Holtzclaw, “Using Residential Patterns and Transit to Decrease Auto Dependence and Costs.” 23. “2010 Quality of Living Worldwide City Rankings,” Mercer.com. 24. Newman, Beatley, and Boyer, 99. STEP 1: PUT CARS IN THEIR PLACE 1. Dom Nozzi, http://domz60.wordpress.com/quotes/. 2. Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Experience” (1844), quoted in Cotton Seiler, Republic of Drivers, 16; Walt Whitman, “Song of the Open Road” (1856). 3. Seiler, 94. 4. David Byrne, Bicycle Diaries, 8. 5. Patrick Condon,“Canadian Cities American Cities: Our Differences Are the Same,” 16. 6. Ibid., 8. 7. Witold Rybczynski, City Life, 160–61. 8. Donald Shoup, The High Cost of Free Parking, 65. 9. Bob Levey and Jane Freundel-Levey, “End of the Roads,” 1. 10.


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Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy by Chris Hayes

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, carried interest, circulation of elites, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, dark matter, David Brooks, David Graeber, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, fixed income, full employment, George Akerlof, Gunnar Myrdal, hiring and firing, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kenneth Arrow, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, mass incarceration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, peak oil, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, Vilfredo Pareto, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

But the longer this Crisis of Authority persists, the more it runs the risk of metastasizing into something that could threaten what we most cherish about American life: our ability to self-correct, to somehow, even seemingly against all odds, make the future better than the past. Chapter 2 MERITOCRACY AND ITS DISCONTENTS The existence of an upper class is not injurious, as long as it is dependent on merit. — RALPH WALDO EMERSON WHETHER WE THINK ABOUT IT MUCH OR NOT, WE all believe in meritocracy. It is embedded in our very language: to call an organization, a business, or an institution “meritocratic” is to pay it a high compliment; to call it bureaucratic is to insult it. On the portion of its website devoted to recruiting talent, Goldman Sachs tells potential recruits that “Goldman Sachs is a meritocracy.” It’s the first sentence.

At its most extreme, the constant perception of competition rather than privilege, the need to insulate one’s psyche from the possibility of failure, produces a tendency toward this kind of threatened egotism. Fractal inequality means that status is never fixed, no success ever final. It means always looking at the next rung up on the social ladder, a posture that makes it very difficult to empathize with those on the rungs below. Twenge’s long-term data show a marked increase in precisely this psychological profile. Ralph Waldo Emerson once observed that “each man carries in his eye the exact indication of his rank in the immense scale of men, and we are always learning to read it.” In twenty-first-century America, this basic human instinct has been cultivated into a guiding ethos. Our culture is overrun with lists and rankings: the most beautiful people, the most influential politicians, the top 500 wealthiest moguls. Anyone who’s ever worked as an editor at a magazine website knows that such stories are what is called in the business “click bait”: readers cannot get enough of them.


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The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy by Paolo Gerbaudo

Airbnb, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, call centre, centre right, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, gig economy, industrial robot, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shock, post-industrial society, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, Ruby on Rails, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, software studies, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Thomas L Friedman, universal basic income, Vilfredo Pareto, WikiLeaks

Beyond anti-party suspicion The assertion about the ultimate withering away of the party, accompanied by the cognate thesis of the withering away of the nation-state in times of globalisation, echoes a long history of anti-party suspicion – one informed by the rejection of party authoritarianism and totalitarianism – which has acquired new strength in neoliberal times. Personalities as different as George Washington, James Madison, Heinrich Von Treitsche, Moisei Ostrogorski, John Stuart Mill, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Simone Weil vocally criticised the political party.24 They alerted to the fact that political parties militated against individuals’ independent judgement, calling for obedience and uniformity, and highlighted that rather than pursuing the general interests of society, they mostly ended up defending the narrow interest of a faction. Emerson for example, famously argued that ‘a sect or a party is an elegant incognito, devised to save a man from the vexation of thinking’,25 while Simone Weil noticed that political parties led to a situation in which ‘instead of thinking, one merely takes sides: for or against.

Working Paper No. 30. Barcelona: Institut de Ciencies Politiques i Socials, 1997. 24. Many of these critical interventions on the political party can be found in the collection Perspectives on political parties: classic readings, edited by S. Scarrow (New York: Springer, 2002). Also see Simone Weil, On the abolition of all political parties (New York: New York Review of Books, 2014). 25. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson in his journals (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982), p.78. 26. Simone Weil, On the abolition of all political parties (New York: New York Review of Books, 2014), p.49. 27. A great deal has been written about totalitarian parties, a topic that is important for its general implications on the theory of the political party. Particularly important are the work of Hannah Arendt, Nicos Poulantzas, and Franz Neumann, The origins of totalitarianism, Vol. 244 (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1973); Franz Neumann, Behemoth: the structure and practice of national socialism (New York: Harper & Row, 1944) and Nicos Poulantzas, The crisis of the dictatorships: Portugal, Greece, Spain (London: NLB, 1976). 28.


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Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan

biofilm, bioinformatics, Columbian Exchange, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, dematerialisation, Drosophila, energy security, Gary Taubes, Hernando de Soto, hygiene hypothesis, Kickstarter, Louis Pasteur, Mason jar, microbiome, peak oil, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Steven Pinker, women in the workforce

One way to think about cooking, or the cooking of meat anyway, is that it is always doing something like this: effecting a transformation, psychological and chemical, that helps us (or at least most of us) enjoy something we might otherwise not be able to stomach, whether literally or figuratively. Cooking puts several kinds of distance between the brutal facts of the matter (dead animal for dinner) and the dining-room table set with crisp linens and polished silver. In this, CAFO meat may be just an extreme instance of the general case, which has never been pretty. “You have just dined,” Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.” The problem is not a new one, and we flatter ourselves if we think we’re the first people to feel moral or spiritual qualms about killing animals for our supper. The ancient and widespread practice of ritual animal sacrifice suggests that such qualms have assailed humans for a very, very long time.

If you stand in a wheat field at this time of year, a few weeks from harvest, it’s not hard to imagine you’re looking at something out of mythology: all this golden sunlight brought down to earth, captured in kernels of gold, and rendered fit for mortals to eat. But of course this is no myth at all, just the plain miraculous fact. Part IV EARTH FERMENTATION’S COLD FIRE “God made yeast, as well as dough, and loves fermentation just as dearly as he loves vegetation.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson “The taste for partial spoilage can become a passion, an embrace of the earthy side of life that expresses itself best in paradoxes.” —Harold McGee “No poems can please long or live that are written by water drinkers.” —Horace Ferment I. Vegetable Consider, just for a moment, the everyday proximity of death. No, not the swerve of the oncoming car or the bomb in the baby carriage.

.* But, then, why is it we always use that particular metaphor—intoxication—to describe it? Probably because it is the model for the state of altered consciousness, or one of them. (Dreams would be another.) And because the fastest, most direct route to altered consciousness is an intoxicant, the most widely available one for most of human history being the molecule manufactured by S. cerevisiae. The poet, wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson, speaks “not with intellect alone, but with the intellect inebriated with nectar.” Put another way, new perceptions and metaphors arise when the spirit of Dionysus breaks Apollo’s tight grip on the rational mind. “As the traveller who has lost his way throws the reins on his horse’s neck and trusts to the instincts of the animal to find his road, so must we do with the divine animal who carries us through this world.”


The State and the Stork: The Population Debate and Policy Making in US History by Derek S. Hoff

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, back-to-the-land, British Empire, business cycle, clean water, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, feminist movement, full employment, garden city movement, George Gilder, Gunnar Myrdal, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, New Economic Geography, new economy, old age dependency ratio, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, pensions crisis, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban sprawl, wage slave, War on Poverty, white flight, zero-sum game

Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address is available online from Princeton University’s Papers of Thomas Jefferson project at www.princeton.edu/~tjpapers/inau gural/infinal.html. 87. Quoted in Appleby, Capitalism and a New Social Order, 98. Also see discussion of this letter in Cocks, “Malthusian Theory in Pre–Civil War America,” 344–45. 88. McCoy, Elusive Republic, 193. 89. Gibson, Americans versus Malthus, chap. 2 90. Alexander H. Everett, New Ideas on Population (London: John Miller, 1823), 9. 91. Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Plato; Or, the Philosopher,” in The Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. Brooks Atkinson (New York: Random House, 1950), 478. 92. Appleby, Capitalism and a New Social Order, 80. 93. William Diamond, “Nathaniel A. Ware, National Economist,” Journal of Southern History 5 (November 1939): 511–12. 94. Ibid., 518. 95. Nathaniel A. Ware, Notes on Political Economy as Applicable to the United States (1844; reprint, New York: Augustus M.

Crunching the numbers on the American land-to-person ratio after the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, these early statisticians concluded that ease of emigration to the western frontier would allow the states to enjoy the benefits of increased population density in older areas without the social drawbacks Europe 30 chapter 1 endured.89 Diplomat Alexander Everett criticized Malthus for failing to see that every additional person is a producer as well as a consumer,90 and Ralph Waldo Emerson noted that ancient philosophers “saw before them no sinister political economy; no ominous Malthus.”91 Antebellum writers who claimed that the Malthusian model was inapplicable to their wide-open, thinly populated, and democratic land often espoused an early version of American “exceptionalism,” the conviction that America is the apple of God’s eye.92 A determination to develop a political economy shaped by America’s unique climate, high birthrate, and huge land mass rather than by European experiences reinforced this exceptionalism.


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The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels

Anton Chekhov, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, joint-stock company, means of production, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Upton Sinclair

, Willa Cather, 0-553-21358-X THE CANTERBURY TALES, Geoffrey Chaucer, 0-553-21082-3 STORIES, Anton Chekhov, 0-553-38100-8 THE AWAKENING, Kate Chopin, 0-553-21330-X THE WOMAN IN WHITE, Wilkie Collins, 0-553-21263-X HEART OF DARKNESS and THE SECRET SHARER, Joseph Conrad, 0-553-21214-1 LORD JIM, Joseph Conrad, 0-553-21361-X THE DEERSLAYER, James Fenimore Cooper, 0-553-21085-8 THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS, James Fenimore Cooper, 0-553-21329-6 MAGGIE: A GIRL OF THE STREETS AND OTHER SHORT FICTION, Stephen Crane, 0-553-21355-5 THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE, Stephen Crane, 0-553-21011-4 INFERNO, Dante, 0-553-21339-3 PARADISO, Dante, 0-553-21204-4 PURGATORIO, Dante, 0-553-21344-X THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES, Charles Darwin, 0-553-21463-2 MOLL FLANDERS, Daniel Defoe, 0-553-21328-8 ROBINSON CRUSOE, Daniel Defoe, 0-553-21373-3 BLEAK HOUSE, Charles Dickens, 0-553-21223-0 A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Charles Dickens, 0-553-21244-3 DAVID COPPERFIELD, Charles Dickens, 0-553-21189-7 GREAT EXPECTATIONS, Charles Dickens, 0-553-21342-3 HARD TIMES, Charles Dickens, 0-553-21016-5 OLIVER TWIST, Charles Dickens, 0-553-21102-1 THE PICKWICK PAPERS, Charles Dickens, 0-553-21123-4 A TALE OF TWO CITIES, Charles Dickens, 0-553-21176-5 THREE SOLDIERS, John Dos Passos, 0-553-21456-X THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, Fyodor Dostoevsky, 0-553-21216-8 CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, Fyodor Dostoevsky, 0-553-21175-7 THE ETERNAL HUSBAND AND OTHER STORIES, Fyodor Dostoevsky, 0-553-21444-6 THE IDIOT, Fyodor Dostoevsky, 0-553-21352-0 NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND, Fyodor Dostoevsky, 0-553-21144-7 SHERLOCK HOLMES VOL I, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 0-553-21241-9 SHERLOCK HOLMES VOL II, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 0-553-21242-7 SISTER CARRIE, Theodore Dreiser, 0-553-21374-1 THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK, W. E. B. Du Bois, 0-553-21336-9 THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, Alexandre Dumas, 0-553-21350-4 THE THREE MUSKETEERS, Alexandre Dumas, 0-553-21337-7 MIDDLEMARCH, George Eliot, 0-553-21180-3 SILAS MARNER, George Eliot, 0-553-21229-X SELECTED ESSAYS, LECTURES, AND POEMS, Ralph Waldo Emerson, 0-553-21388-1 TEN PLAYS BY EURIPIDES, Euripides, 0-553-21363-6 APRIL MORNING, Howard Fast, 0-553-27322-1 MADAME BOVARY, Gustave Flaubert, 0-553-21341-5 HOWARDS END, E. M. Forster, 0-553-21208-7 A ROOM WITH A VIEW, E. M. Forster, 0-553-21323-7 THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL, Anne Frank, 0-553-57712-3 ANNE FRANK'S TALES FROM THE SECRET ANNEX, Anne Frank, 0-553-58638-6 THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY AND OTHER WRITINGS, Benjamin Franklin, 0-553-21075-0 THE YELLOW WALLPAPER AND OTHER WRITINGS, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 0-553-21375-X FAUST: FIRST PART, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 0-553-21348-2 THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS, Kenneth Grahame, 0-553-21368-7 THE COMPLETE FAIRY TALES OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM, The Brothers Grimm, 0-553-38216-0 ROOTS, Alex Haley, 0-440-17464-3 FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD, Thomas Hardy, 0-553-21331-8 JUDE THE OBSCURE, Thomas Hardy, 0-553-21191-9 THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE, Thomas Hardy, 0-553-21024-6 THE RETURN OF THE NATIVE, Thomas Hardy, 0-553-21269-9 TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES, Thomas Hardy, 0-553-21168-4 THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES, Nathaniel Hawthorne, 0-553-21270-2 THE SCARLET LETTER, Nathaniel Hawthorne, 0-553-21009-2 THE FAIRY TALES OF HERMANN HESSE, Hermann Hesse, 0-553-37776-0 SIDDHARTHA, Hermann Hesse, 0-553-20884-5 THE ODYSSEY OF HOMER, Homer, 0-553-21399-7 THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, Victor Hugo, 0-553-21370-9 FOUR GREAT PLAYS, Henrik Ibsen, 0-553-21280-X THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY, Henry James, 0-553-21127-7 THE TURN OF THE SCREW AND OTHER SHORT FICTION, Henry James, 0-553-21059-9 A COUNTRY DOCTOR, Sarah Orne Jewett, 0-553-21498-5 DUBLINERS, James Joyce, 0-553-21380-6 A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN, James Joyce, 0-553-21404-7 THE METAMORPHOSIS, Franz Kafka, 0-553-21369-5 THE STORY OF MY LIFE, Helen Keller, 0-553-21387-3 CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS, Rudyard Kipling, 0-553-21190-0 THE JUNGLE BOOKS, Rudyard Kipling, 0-553-21199-4 KIM, Rudyard Kipling, 0-553-21332-6 LADY CHATTERLEY'S LOVER, D.


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The Battery: How Portable Power Sparked a Technological Revolution by Henry Schlesinger

Albert Einstein, animal electricity, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, British Empire, Copley Medal, Fellow of the Royal Society, index card, invention of the telegraph, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Livingstone, I presume, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, popular electronics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, Robert Metcalfe, Stephen Hawking, Thales of Miletus, the scientific method, Thomas Davenport, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, Vannevar Bush, Yogi Berra

It would take decades before the battery would emerge in any significant role outside the lab, and even then, it came in an unpredicted area—that of communication via the telegraph. 4 Science, Showmanship, and the Voltaic Pile “More than the diamond Koh-i-noor, which glitters among their crown jewels, they prize the dull pebble which is wiser than a man, whose poles turn themselves to the poles of the world, and whose axis is parallel to the axis of the world. Now, their toys are steam and galvanism.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson, English Traits From the perspective of our technologically jaded age in which scientific and technical breakthroughs often rate little more than a perfunctory nod of acknowledgment, it is difficult to imagine the excitement science provoked among the general public during the early part of the nineteenth century. Scientific discoveries promised something far different from the engineering marvels of the Industrial Revolution that focused on such practical matters as increased production in automated mills or the speed and tonnage of locomotives.

Adored thee in thy majesty of visible creation, And searched into thy hidden and mysterious ways As Poet, as Philosopher, as Sage? A friend of William Wordsworth, Davy persuaded the poet that natural philosophers were akin to poets in their search for meaning, and later edited Wordsworth’s Lyrical Ballads, while Coleridge attended scientific lectures in search of metaphors. And in America, Ralph Waldo Emerson, starting his first journal after leaving Harvard in 1820, listed Davy’s Elements of Chemical Philosophy as a book he intended to read. Percy Bysshe Shelley, perhaps the most romantic of the Romantic poets, was himself an enthusiastic amateur natural philosopher for much of his short life. As a young boy he enlisted his sister, Helen, and her playmates in experiments with a charged Leyden jar.


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The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis by Ruth Defries

agricultural Revolution, Columbian Exchange, demographic transition, double helix, European colonialism, food miles, Francisco Pizarro, Haber-Bosch Process, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, John Snow's cholera map, out of africa, planetary scale, premature optimization, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, social intelligence, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade

Without the coal that miners had started to dig from deep in the Earth, the twentieth-century solution to the soil-fertility problem would not have been possible. Energy from fossil fuels replaced the energy from lightning and the microbes’ metabolism in the planet’s nitrogen-cycling machinery. The far-ranging significance of the pivot from human muscle and animal brawn to fossil fuels as a prime source of energy caught the attention of American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Coal lay in ledges under the ground . . . until a laborer with pickax and windlass brings it to the surface. We may call it black diamonds. Every basket is power and civilization.” Written in 1860, decades before the black diamonds paved the way for a resolution to the nitrogen bottleneck, these words were more prescient than Emerson likely thought. The power to smash open the bottleneck for soil fertility was game-changing, but that was not the only, or possibly even the main, impetus for the industrialization of nitrogen fixation.

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Collapse or Succeed. Penguin, New York. Ehui, S., and R. Polson. 1993. A review of the economic and ecological constraints on animal draft cultivation in Sub-Saharan Africa. Soil and Tillage Research 27:195–210. El-Sharkawy, M. 1993. Drought-tolerant cassava for Africa, Asia, and Latin America. BioScience 43:441–451. Emerson, R. 2003. The Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson: The Conduct of Life. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. Erisman, J., M. Sutton, J. Galloway, Z. Klimont, and W. Winiwarter. 2008. How a century of ammonia synthesis changed the world. Nature Geoscience 1:636–639. Feller, C., L. Thuries, R. Manlay, P. Robin, and E. Frossard. 2003. “The principles of rational agriculture” by Albrecht Daniel Thaer (1752–1828): An approach to the sustainability of cropping systems at the beginning of the 19th century.


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No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy by Linsey McGoey

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, American Legislative Exchange Council, bitcoin, Bob Geldof, cashless society, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, crony capitalism, effective altruism, Etonian, financial innovation, Food sovereignty, Ford paid five dollars a day, germ theory of disease, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Mitch Kapor, Mont Pelerin Society, Naomi Klein, obamacare, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, school choice, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, urban planning, wealth creators

William Jewett Tucker, a theologian who would later serve as the ninth president of Dartmouth College, wrote an eviscerating review of Carnegie’s first ‘Wealth’ essay, suggesting, ‘I can conceive of no greater mistake most disastrous to the end of religion if not to society than that of trying to make charity do the work of justice’.16 Tucker’s views bear a trace of the earlier writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who, in essays such as ‘Self-Reliance’, spurned what he saw as the infantilizing effect of charity, the tendency for giving to entrench a relation of inequality between individuals where shared appreciation of their equality and individuality should flourish. In a stunning denunciation of Christian morality, Emerson scorns Samaritan notions of one’s duty to strangers, to one’s immediate brethren, to fellow countrymen.

As he points out, abolition inroads were first made not by English or American abolitionists but by Jacobin revolutionaries and the black peasantry of Saint Domingue (later Haiti). Robin Blackburn, ‘Haiti, Slavery, and the Age of Democratic Revolution’, William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 63, no. 4 (2006), 643–74. 19Quoted in Michael Lopez, ‘The Conduct of Life: Emerson’s Anatomy of Power’, in Joel Porte and Saundra Morris, eds., The Cambridge Companion to Ralph Waldo Emerson (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 246. 20Baudelaire’s short story, ‘Counterfeit Money’, first published in 1869, is excerpted in full as an appendix in Jacques Derrida’s Given Time: 1. Counterfeit Money (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992). 21Mareike Schomerus; Tim Allen, and Koen Vlassennott, ‘Kony 2012 and the Prospect for Change’ Foreign Affairs (March 13, 2012). 22Michael E.


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The Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update by Donella H. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, Dennis L. Meadows

agricultural Revolution, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, Climatic Research Unit, conceptual framework, dematerialisation, demographic transition, financial independence, game design, income per capita, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), longitudinal study, means of production, new economy, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, University of East Anglia, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review

More than that, vision, when widely shared and firmly kept in sight, does bring into being new systems. We mean that literally. Within the limits of space, time, materials, and energy, visionary human intentions can bring forth not only new information, new feedback loops, new behavior, new knowledge, and new technology, but also new institutions, new physical structures, and new powers within human beings. Ralph Waldo Emerson recognized this profound truth 150 years ago: Every nation and every man instantly surround themselves with a material apparatus which exactly corresponds to their moral state, or their state of thought. Observe how every truth and every error, each a thought of some man's mind, clothes itself with societies, houses, cities, language, ceremonies, newspapers. Observe the ideas of the present day . . . see how each of these abstractions has embodied itself in an imposing apparatus in the community, and how timber, brick, lime, and stone have flown into convenient shape, obedient to the master idea reigning in the minds of many persons....

A good example is the biannual WWF Living Planet Report published by World Wide Fund for Nature International, Gland, Switzerland, which provides data on trends in global biodiversity and the ecological footprint of nations. 7. See Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism (Boston: Back Bay Books, 2000). 8. Lewis Mumford, The Condition of Man (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1944), 398-399. Chapter 8. Tools for the Transition to Sustainability 1. Donald Worster, editor, The Ends of the Earth (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 11-12. 2. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Lecture on "War," delivered in Boston, March 1838. Reprinted in Emerson's Complete Works, vol. 11 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1887), 177. 3. Examples of networks known to the authors and in their field of interest are the Balaton Group (www.unh.edu/ipssr/Balaton.html), Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), Center for a New American Dream (CNAD; wwwnewdream.org), Greenlist (www.peacestore.us/Public/Greenlist), Greenclips (wwwgreenclips.com), Northern Forest Alliance (wwwnorthernforestalliance.org), Land Trust Alliance (wwwlta.org), International Simulation and Gaming Association (ISAGA; wwwisaga.info), and Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD). 4.


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Earth Wars: The Battle for Global Resources by Geoff Hiscock

Admiral Zheng, Asian financial crisis, Bakken shale, Bernie Madoff, BRICs, butterfly effect, clean water, cleantech, corporate governance, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, flex fuel, global rebalancing, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, Long Term Capital Management, Malacca Straits, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, trade route, uranium enrichment, urban decay, WikiLeaks, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

Julie Jang and Jonathan Sinton, Overseas Investments by Chinese National Oil Companies, International Energy Agency, Information Paper (February 2011). www.iea.org/papers/2011/overseas_china.pdf. 6. International Energy Agency, “World Energy Outlook.” 7. International Energy Agency, Medium-Term Oil and Gas Markets 2011, (St. Petersburg, Russia: International Energy Agency, 16 June 2011). CHAPTER 6 Old Coal Still Burning Brightly Steam is no stronger now than it was a hundred years ago, but it is put to better use. —Nineteenth-century American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson For the Panama-flagged coal ship Pasha Bulker, there was nowhere to hide from the violent storm known as an “east coast low,” that overwhelmed it one winter’s morning in June 2007. The 77,000-dwt Panamax-class ship, which had been launched in Japan only a year earlier, had spent the previous two weeks in the coal queue that forms off the Port of Newcastle on the Australian east coast. As the first storm warnings went out from the local weather bureau, the master of the Pasha Bulker made an ill-judged call to stay put—he was there to load 58,000 tonnes of coal.

Media release, “AngloAmerican announces 45 percent increase in half year core operating profit to $5.9 billion,” 29 July 2011. 8. Media release, “Wood Mackenzie Says That Iron Ore Suppliers Will Not be Able to Meet Market Demand Until at Least 2015,” Sydney/Edinburgh/Houston, 20 July 2011. CHAPTER 11 U.S. Energy Hail to the Shale The resources of America and its future will be immense only to wise and virtuous men. —Nineteenth-century American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Complete Works, Volume VIII, Letters and Social Aims, “Resources” essay, 1876 A s the second decade of the twenty-first century unfolds, it is clear the United States will have to cede some of its Asia-Pacific regional influence to China and learn to live in a world where there are two superpowers. But its technology, innovation, capital markets, capacity to evolve, and overall confidence will ensure it remains the “go-to” country when there’s an energy, food, or water problem.


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You Are Here: Why We Can Find Our Way to the Moon, but Get Lost in the Mall by Colin Ellard

A Pattern Language, call centre, car-free, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Frank Gehry, global village, Google Earth, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, job satisfaction, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, New Urbanism, peak oil, polynesian navigation, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, traveling salesman, urban planning, urban sprawl

We modern folk may lack songlines or elaborate creation stories, but we do what we can to weld ourselves to the landscape with whatever tools we can devise. A part of this impulse must surely arise because, deep in our bones, we understand the need to belong to particular places. Landmarks, because they locate us, are integral to the fulfillment of that need. CHAPTER 3 LOOKING FOR ROUTES HOW WE TRY TO KEEP TRACK OF WHERE WE ARE BY NOTING WHERE WE HAVE BEEN The wonder is always new that any sane man can be a sailor. RALPH WALDO EMERSON In an ancient Greek legend, King Minos of Knossos commanded his brilliant engineer, Daedalus, to build a safe confinement for the Minotaur, a hideous beast born of an illicit union between Minos’s wife and a white bull thrown from the sea by Poseidon. Daedalus built a labyrinth—an enormous cavern filled with passages of vast complexity and almost impossible to navigate. Not only did this elaborate construction keep the citizens of Knossos safe from the Minotaur but it provided Minos with a good outlet to vent his spleen over the death of his son, Androgeos, who had been murdered while traveling in Athens.

Although our minds may be predisposed to detach us from real space, much more than a psychological predisposition has been at work in driving us from Eden to Gotham. Jane Jacobs blames our tendency to insulate ourselves from nature on an impulse born of the European romantic movement, perhaps transported across the Atlantic in the guise of the New England transcendental movement espoused by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.2 At first, the connection between intellectual movements that cherished emotional contact with wild nature and the current difficulties in our relationship with the environment may be difficult to discern, but Jacobs’s argument was that by raising wild places onto a pedestal, we convinced ourselves that life in our cities had nothing to do with the natural world. An impulse born of the noble desire to find truth in the forest had the result of increasingly polarizing urban and wild places.


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Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant

Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Firefox, George Santayana, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, women in the workforce

But wherever we fall in the birth order, when we have compelling role models for originality, they expand our awareness of niches that we had never considered. Instead of causing us to rebel because traditional avenues are closed, the protagonists in our favorite stories may inspire originality by opening our minds to unconventional paths. 7 Rethinking Groupthink The Myths of Strong Cultures, Cults, and Devil’s Advocates “In fact, the only sin which we never forgive in each other is difference of opinion.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Standing on stage in front of a captive audience, a technology icon pulled a new device out of his pocket. It was so much smaller than competing products that no one in the room could believe his eyes. The founder’s flair for theatrical product launches wasn’t the only source of his fame. He was known for his singular creative vision, a passion for blending science and art, an obsession with design and quality, and a deep disdain for market research.

making the impossible seem possible: Mark Strauss, “Ten Inventions Inspired by Science Fiction,” Smithsonian magazine, March 15, 2012, www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/ten-inventions-inspired-by-science-fiction-128080674/?no-ist. reading Harry Potter can improve: Loris Vezzali, Sofia Stathi, Dino Giovannini, Dora Capozza, and Elena Trifiletti, “The Greatest Magic of Harry Potter: Reducing Prejudice,” Journal of Applied Social Psychology 45 (2015): 105–21. 7: Rethinking Groupthink “In fact, the only sin”: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Society and Solitude: Twelve Chapters (New York: Houghton, Mifflin, 1893). Edwin Land, the founder of Polaroid: Mary Tripsas and Giovanni Gavetti, “Capabilities, Cognition, and Inertia: Evidence from Digital Imaging,” Strategic Management Journal 21 (2000): 1147–61; Victor K. McElheny, Insisting on the Impossible: The Life of Edwin Land (New York: Basic Books, 1999); Milton P. Dentch, Fall of an Icon: Polaroid After Edwin H.


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Fred Schwed's Where Are the Customers' Yachts?: A Modern-Day Interpretation of an Investment Classic by Leo Gough

Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, corporate governance, discounted cash flows, diversification, fixed income, index fund, Long Term Capital Management, Northern Rock, passive investing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, short selling, South Sea Bubble, The Nature of the Firm, the rule of 72, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, young professional

OTHER TITLES IN THE INFINITE SUCCESS SERIES Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations Benjamin Franklin’s The Way to Wealth Bertrand Russell’s The Conquest of Happiness Carl von Clausewitz’s On War Charles Mackay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds Frank Bettger’s How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling George S. Clason’s The Richest Man in Babylon Karl Marx’s Das Kapital Miyamoto Musashi’s The Book of Five Rings Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self Reliance Robert Collier’s The Secret of the Ages Samuel Smiles’s Self-help Sun Tzu’s The Art of War FRED SCHWED’S WHERE ARE THE CUSTOMERS’ YACHTS? A MODERN-DAY INTERPRETATION OF AN INVESTMENT CLASSIC BY LEO GOUGH Copyright © Infinite Ideas Limited, 2010 The right of Leo Gough to be identified as the author of this book has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.


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

Seneca On the Shortness of Life Marcus Aurelius Meditations St Augustine Confessions of a Sinner Thomas à Kempis The Inner Life Niccolò Machiavelli The Prince Michel de Montaigne On Friendship Jonathan Swift A Tale of a Tub Jean-Jacques Rousseau The Social Contract Edward Gibbon The Christians and the Fall of Rome Thomas Paine Common Sense Mary Wollstonecraft A Vindication of the Rights of Woman William Hazlitt On the Pleasure of Hating Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels The Communist Manifesto Arthur Schopenhauer On the Suffering of the World John Ruskin On Art and Life Charles Darwin On Natural Selection Friedrich Nietzsche Why I am So Wise Virginia Woolf A Room of One’s Own Sigmund Freud Civilization and Its Discontents George Orwell Why I Write Confucius The First Ten Books Sun-tzu The Art of War Plato The Symposium Lucretius Sensation and Sex Cicero An Attack on an Enemy of Freedom The Revelation of St John the Divine and The Book of Job Marco Polo Travels in the Land of Kubilai Khan Christine de Pizan The City of Ladies Baldesar Castiglione How to Achieve True Greatness Francis Bacon Of Empire Thomas Hobbes Of Man Sir Thomas Browne Urne-Burial Voltaire Miracles and Idolatry David Hume On Suicide Carl von Clausewitz On the Nature of War Søren Kierkegaard Fear and Trembling Henry David Thoreau Where I Lived, and What I Lived For Thorstein Veblen Conspicuous Consumption Albert Camus The Myth of Sisyphus Hannah Arendt Eichmann and the Holocaust Plutarch In Consolation to his Wife Robert Burton Some Anatomies of Melancholy Blaise Pascal Human Happiness Adam Smith The Invisible Hand Edmund Burke The Evils of Revolution Ralph Waldo Emerson Nature Søren Kierkegaard The Sickness unto Death John Ruskin The Lamp of Memory Friedrich Nietzsche Man Alone with Himself Leo Tolstoy A Confession William Morris Useful Work v. 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.


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Were You Born on the Wrong Continent? by Thomas Geoghegan

Albert Einstein, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, collective bargaining, corporate governance, cross-subsidies, dark matter, David Brooks, declining real wages, deindustrialization, ending welfare as we know it, facts on the ground, Gini coefficient, haute cuisine, income inequality, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, McJob, minimum wage unemployment, mittelstand, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, pensions crisis, plutocrats, Plutocrats, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, union organizing, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce

Everything was closed: in this whole global crossroads of a city, there was no place I could go and buy a cheap electric razor. By 3 P.M., it was night again, and, depressed, I walked into a café called the Hoechst. At a table, there was a woman my age who looked like Veronica Lake; it could have been a movie except she was reading The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson and doodling. I sat near her—not so much to meet her as to get away from all the other Germans sitting there with dogs. I was so lonely that I tried to make small talk about Ralph Waldo Emerson, and she looked up, unsmiling: “How did you, an American, find the Hoechst?” Why did she think I was an American? “Your yellow legal pad,” she said. “You only get those in America.” I explained I was here to study the Germany model. “Model? I would not hold Germany up as a model. We have so many problems.”


pages: 460 words: 108,654

Time Travelers Never Die by Jack McDevitt

Albert Einstein, index card, indoor plumbing, Johannes Kepler, life extension, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Rosa Parks, Thales of Miletus, walking around money, white picket fence, Winter of Discontent

He signaled for one of the cops to open the door. “Take him back inside.” As David was leaving, the sheriff turned to the inventory officer and lowered his voice. “Any sign yet of Jay?” “Nothin’, Sheriff. I’ll let you know as soon as he shows up.” CHAPTER 13 Do not say things. What you are stands over you the while, and thunders so that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary. —RALPH WALDO EMERSON, LETTERS AND SOCIAL AIMS SHEL lost track of Dave. The victims, still choking on tear gas, lay broken and bleeding in the roadway. The crowd began to disperse. There were scattered voices, people saying they deserved it, maybe next time they’ll know better, got no choice. They wandered back into Selma. The police, after a delay, allowed the medics in. They put the more seriously injured on stretchers and loaded them into the ambulances.

They touched glasses and drank. “And never forget,” Michael said, “time travelers never die. No matter what you saw up ahead, about me, I’ll always be here.” CHAPTER 26 There is some awe mixed with the joy of our surprise, when this poet, who lived in some past world, two or three hundred years ago, says that which lies close to my own soul, that which I also had wellnigh thought and said. —RALPH WALDO EMERSON, “THE AMERICAN SCHOLAR” IT would be an overstatement to say that Aspasia and her plays were getting substantial attention from the mass media. Sophocles was not exactly a subject to boost ratings, but the mystery surrounding the appearance of plays thought lost for two thousand years did interest a couple of the cable news show hosts. Michelle Keller on Perspective observed that it sounded as if a real-life Indiana Jones was charging around out there somewhere, and Brett Coleman, a guest on Down the Line, commented that the world had been greatly enriched by the discovery, although he seemed to think that Achilles was a Trojan hero.


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joan Didion, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

More broadly, we should be skeptical of anyone who draws on video game studies to argue that spending a lot of time in front of a computer screen strengthens our attentiveness or our memory or even our ability to multitask. Taken as a whole, the evidence, including the video-gaming evidence, suggests it has the opposite effect. MEMORY IS THE GRAVITY OF MIND July 14, 2011 As gravity holds matter from flying off into space, so memory gives stability to knowledge; it is the cohesion which keeps things from falling into a lump, or flowing in waves. —Ralph Waldo Emerson A FASCINATING AND UNSETTLING study of the internet’s effects on memory has just come out in Science. It provides more evidence of how quickly our minds adapt to the tools we use to think with, for better and for worse. The study, “Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips,” was conducted by three psychologists: Betsy Sparrow, of Columbia; Jenny Liu, of the University of Wisconsin; and Daniel Wegner, of Harvard.

THERE’S A WORD you don’t come across much anymore. Not only does it sound fusty and arcane, as if it had been extracted from the nether regions of a moldy physiology handbook, but it seems fatally tainted with political incorrectness. Only the rash or the drunken would dare launch the word into a conversation at a cocktail party. It wasn’t always a pariah. In an essay published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1858, Ralph Waldo Emerson chose the adjective to describe the experience of reading: “I find certain books vital and spermatic, not leaving the reader what he was.” For Emerson, the best books—the “true ones”—“take rank in our life with parents and lovers and passionate experiences, so medicinal, so stringent, so revolutionary, so authoritative.” Books are not only alive; they give life, or at least give it a new twist.


pages: 426 words: 105,423

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss

Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, call centre, clean water, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, fixed income, follow your passion, game design, global village, Iridium satellite, knowledge worker, late fees, lateral thinking, Maui Hawaii, oil shock, paper trading, Parkinson's law, passive income, peer-to-peer, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, remote working, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, William of Occam

But what if someone has an emergency? It doesn’t happen. My contacts now know that I don’t respond to emergencies, so the emergencies somehow don’t exist or don’t come to me. Problems, as a rule, solve themselves or disappear if you remove yourself as an information bottleneck and empower others. Cultivating Selective Ignorance There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant. —RALPH WALDO EMERSON (1803–1882) From this point forward, I’m going to propose that you develop an uncanny ability to be selectively ignorant. Ignorance may be bliss, but it is also practical. It is imperative that you learn to ignore or redirect all information and interruptions that are irrelevant, unimportant, or unactionable. Most are all three. The first step is to develop and maintain a low-information diet.

Income Autopilot I FINDING THE MUSE Just set it and forget it! —RON POPEIL, founder of RONCO; responsible for more than $1 billion in sales of rotisserie chicken roasters As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble. —RALPH WALDO EMERSON The Renaissance Minimalist Douglas Price was waking up to another beautiful summer morning in his Brooklyn brownstone. First things first: coffee. The jet lag was minor, considering he had just returned from a two-week jaunt through the islands of Croatia. It was just one of six countries he had visited in the last 12 months. Japan was next on the agenda. Buzzing with a smile and his coffee mug in hand, he ambled over to his Mac to check on personal e-mail first.


pages: 353 words: 110,919

The Road to Character by David Brooks

Cass Sunstein, coherent worldview, David Brooks, desegregation, Donald Trump, follow your passion, George Santayana, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, New Journalism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile

Johnson endorsed the notion that “He who can talk only on one subject, or act only in one department, is seldom wanted, and perhaps never wished for, while the man of general knowledge can often benefit and always please.”15 He was not mystical. He built his philosophy low to the ground, from reading history and literature and from direct observation—focusing relentlessly on what he would call “the living world.” As Paul Fussell observed, he confuted all determinism. He rejected the notion that behavior is shaped by impersonal iron forces. He always focused with his searing eye on the particularity of each individual. Ralph Waldo Emerson would later observe that “Souls are not saved in bundles.”16 Johnson fervently believed in each individual’s mysterious complexity and inherent dignity. He was, through it all, a moralist, in the best sense of that term. He believed that most problems are moral problems. “The happiness of society depends on virtue,” he would write. For him, like other humanists of that age, the essential human act is the act of making strenuous moral decisions.

Bate, Samuel Johnson, 211. 8. Meyers, Samuel Johnson: The Struggle, 205. 9. Bate, Samuel Johnson, 204. 10. Paul Fussell, Samuel Johnson and the Life of Writing (Norton, 1986), 236. 11. Bate, Samuel Johnson, 218. 12. Meyers, Samuel Johnson: The Struggle, 114. 13. Meyers, Samuel Johnson: The Struggle, 2. 14. Fussell, Johnson and the Life of Writing, 163. 15. Fussell, Johnson and the Life of Writing, 51. 16. Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Spiritual Emerson: Essential Writings (Beacon, 2004), 216. 17. Fussell, Johnson and the Life of Writing, 147. 18. Percy Hazen Houston, Doctor Johnson: A Study in Eighteenth Century Humanism (Cambridge University Press, 1923), 195. 19. Sarah Bakewell, How to Live: Or a Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer (Other Press, 2010), 21. 20. Bakewell, How to Live, 14. 21.


pages: 319 words: 108,797

Dark, Salt, Clear: Life in a Cornish Fishing Town by Lamorna Ash

hive mind, invisible hand, Joan Didion, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Year of Magical Thinking

You feel bereaved when you know you have no choice but to leave somewhere, as you would feel leaving a loved one. When she did come home, she would go straight down onto the beach. ‘I don’t know how to explain it,’ she says when I ask her what that return was like. ‘I felt relieved, like I could breathe again. It’s the stretching of the eyes; it’s looking out at the horizon again.’ ‘The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon,’ Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote of the healing powers of nature. ‘We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough.’ Mum and I continue walking purposefully along the beach, feeling ourselves open up, becoming more malleable, more forgiving of one another. Now and then we break from our conversation to acknowledge the extraordinary things the sea has done since we were last here: the jagged rocks by the estuary we had seen last spring have been hidden by a layer of sand, the shell line has been replenished and a large tree branch has been blown back by the wind so it arcs back into the sand as graceful as a dancer.

For Annie Dillard, see Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 1974, 2011). For the Deep Scattering Layer, see the ship’s log of the USS Jasper, quoted in ‘Blue-sea thinking: technology is transforming the relationship between people and the oceans’, in The Economist Technology Quarterly, 10 March 2018. LOCAL For Synge, see The Aran Islands. For Woolf, see her diary of August 1905 in A Passionate Apprentice. For Plath, see ‘Ocean 1212-W’. For Ralph Waldo Emerson, see Nature (Boston: James Munroe and Company, 1836). A FEAST OF SEABIRDS For Pam Lomax and Ron Hogg, see Newlyn Before the Artists Came (Penzance: Shears and Hogg Publications, 2010). For Sebald, see The Rings of Saturn. ROSEBUD I am grateful to Michael Sagar-Fenton, who lives in Penzance, for telling me the story of the Rosebud. His book, The Rosebud and the Newlyn Clearances (Saint Agnes: Truran, 2003), is highly informative and includes the quotations from news publications published around the time of the clearances.


pages: 603 words: 182,826

Owning the Earth: The Transforming History of Land Ownership by Andro Linklater

agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, business cycle, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, facts on the ground, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, income inequality, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, light touch regulation, market clearing, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, mortgage debt, Northern Rock, Peace of Westphalia, Pearl River Delta, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, spinning jenny, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, ultimatum game, wage slave, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons, working poor

Aware that restive Northerners were opposed to a new Fugitive Slaves Act that required them to aid in the capture and return of an escaped slave, he bluntly demanded what right they had “as a question of morals and of conscience . . . to endeavor to get round this Constitution, or to embarrass the free exercise of the rights secured by the Constitution to the persons whose slaves escape from them?” The purpose of his speech was to defend the Union, but it did so, as Ralph Waldo Emerson pointed out derisively, by treating “the Union as an estate, a large farm,” in effect as a property. Instead of giving priority to the sense of justice that, as John Locke argued, provided the basis of private property, Webster proposed that property itself was so sacred that an individual’s conscience should be sacrificed to the priority of protecting it. The very purpose of the Union was lost.

Cited in Slavery in the North by Douglas Harper, http://www.slavenorth.com/slavenorth.htm. Chief Justice Joseph Lumpkin: His opinion was delivered in Bryan v. Walton, 14 Georgia 185 (1853). “property in persons”: Daniel Webster’s much-quoted speech in defense of the Union was delivered in the Senate March 7, 1850. Emerson’s response came in a lecture, “The Fugitive Slave Law,” delivered in the Tabernacle, New York City, March 7, 1854. The Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, in 12 vols. (Fireside Edition. Boston and New York: 1909), http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=1961&chapter=123098&layout=html&Itemid=27. “We have a right of protection”: Senator Albert Brown’s speech quoted in A People & a Nation: A History of the United States by Mary Beth Norton et al. (Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning, 2011), 381. Massive changes were brought about: For Reconstruction, see Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction by Eric Foner (New York: Knopf Doubleday, 2005).

The Age of Federalism: The Early American Republic, 1788–1800. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995. Elman, Benjamin A. On Their Own Terms: Science in China 1550–1900. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005. Elton, G. R. England Under the Tudors. London: Methuen, 1974. Elvin, Mark. The Pattern of the Chinese Past. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1973. Emerson, Ralph Waldo. The Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, in 12 vols. Fireside Edition, Vol XI. Boston and New York, 1909. http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=1961&chapter=123098&layout=html&Itemid=27. Emmons, Terence. The Russian Landed Gentry and the Peasant Emancipation of 1861. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968. Epstein, M. F. The Early History of the English Levant Company. London: Routledge, 1908.


pages: 312 words: 114,586

How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World: A Handbook for Personal Liberty by Harry Browne

full employment, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, source of truth, War on Poverty

Be honest with yourself and with others and act toward others as you'd like to be treated, and you'll have a far greater chance to attract people valuable to you. The others are unimportant to your future—if your future is to be free. There's a beautiful world out there. Why clutter it up with relationships that don't belong in your life? It's an easy life. Why complicate it by trying to be all things to all people? Adopt the image that's most effective—your own. Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist. —RALPH WALDO EMERSON 18 Freedom from Bad Relationships WE'VE SEEN THAT IT'S FOOLISH to waste time trying to deal with incompatible people. There are plenty of people around who would want you to be as you are. That doesn't mean, however, that you're likely to find individuals with whom you'll be 100% compatible—with the exact same tastes, values, attitudes, and ideas that you have. You're more likely to find individuals with whom you'll have one or more important things in common.

In the final analysis, the only person who can exploit you is you—because you make all the final decisions for your life. Freedom from exploitation is perhaps the easiest freedom to get. All you have to do is to stop participating in any relationship—of any kind—that doesn't suit you. It is as impossible for a man to be cheated by anyone but himself, as for a thing to be, and not to be, at the same time. —RALPH WALDO EMERSON 25 Freedom from the Treadmill FREEDOM IS living your life as you want to live it. Many people feel that freedom is impossible because of the many hours required for work, because of their debts, and because they can't afford to live the way they'd like to. The treadmill enslaves many people who can't conceive that life could be any different. They stay where they are, leaving things as they are, making changes only when someone else initiates them.


Hopes and Prospects by Noam Chomsky

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, colonial rule, corporate personhood, Credit Default Swap, cuban missile crisis, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Firefox, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, invisible hand, liberation theology, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, new economy, nuremberg principles, one-state solution, open borders, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus

As the national poet Walt Whitman explained, our conquests “take off the shackles that prevent men the even chance of being happy and good.” With the conquest of half of Mexico in mind, he asked rhetorically, “What has miserable, inefficient Mexico…to do with the great mission of peopling the New World with a noble race?” His thoughts were spelled out by the leading humanist thinker of the period, Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote that the annexation of Texas was simply a matter of course: “It is very certain that the strong British race which has now overrun much of this continent, must also overrun that trace, and Mexico and Oregon also, and it will in the course of ages be of small import by what particular occasions and methods it was done.” It had of course been understood that not all would benefit from the just and necessary task of opening the wilderness for the superior race arriving to claim it.

., 40–42 Liberia, 7 Lieberman, Avigdor, 156 limited liability, 30 Lippmann, Walter, 47, 122, 136 Lissakers, Karen, 72 Livni, Tzipi, 157 Llorens, Hugo, 67 Lodge, Henry Cabot, 22 Lula da Silva, Luiz Inácio, 70 Lynd, Staughton, 96 Ma’aleh Adumim, 180, 188 Madison, James, 18, 233 Mafia doctrine, 55 Maguire, Mairead Corrigan, 148 Maliki, Nouri al-, 239 Mandela, Nelson, 267 MANTECH (manufacturing technology), 88 Maoz, Zeev, 170 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 5 Mauritius, 168 Mayr, Ernst, 175 McCain, John, 209, 212 McCoy, Alfred, 203, 262 McFaul, Michael, 65 McGlynn, John, 174–75 Medicare, 227 Meir, Golda, 195 Mercosur, 70 Merkel, Angela, 270 Meron, Theodor, 148 Meshal, Khaled, 153 Mexican-U.S. border, 28–29, 31, 270 Mexico, 29, 31, 49, 60, 70, 90 “American invasion” of, 160 NAFTA and, 29, 35–36, 215–16, 270 Ralph Waldo Emerson on, 17 Walt Whitman on, 16 Meyers, Steven Lee, 154 Michael, B., 154 military, U.S., 62–63 military spending, 63–65, 84–85 Mill, John Stuart, 267 missile defense programs, 65, 86, 199. See also ballistic missile defense (BMD) programs Mitchell, George, 251, 255, 256 Monning, Bill, 66 monopolies, 77, 86–90 Monroe, James, 19 Monroe Doctrine, 53, 54 Morales, Evo, 59–60, 70–71, 115, 213 Morgan, Edmund, 18–19 Morgenson, Gretchen, 113 Morgenthau, Hans, 21, 39–40 Morris, Benny, 154 Mubarak, Hosni, 191, 192 Multi-National Force-Iraq, 130 Nairn, Alan, 224, 260–61 Najibullah, Mohammad, 245 narcoterrorism, 57.


pages: 683 words: 203,624

The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens' London by Judith Flanders

anti-work, centre right, Corn Laws, John Snow's cholera map, Ralph Waldo Emerson, traveling salesman, urban sprawl, working poor

And I said, without the least conceit…“it really is a pleasure to work with you, you receive the impression so nicely”.’10 Whilst these impressions were real, they were also radically reworked by Dickens’ imagination to create new realities, well recognized by his fellow artists. Henry James described Dickens’ type of fiction, with its real places and real street names, as having the ‘solidity of specification’; Ralph Waldo Emerson spoke of Dickens’ ‘London tracts’. So real were these tracts that when the American historian Francis Parkman arrived in London, ‘I thought I had been there before. There, in flesh and blood, was the whole host of characters that figured’ in Dickens – the people, the traffic: everything, he marvelled. Details that Londoners didn’t even notice they were noticing were given a place in the sharp-eyed author’s books.

Mrs Russell Barrington (London, Longmans, Green, and Co., 1915), vol. 3, pp. 84–5; ‘fanciful photograph’: Dickens to W. H. Wills, 24 September 1858, Letters, vol. 8, p. 669; footnote: I owe this idea to Tambling, Going Astray, pp. 21–2. ‘he marvelled’: Henry James, ‘The Art of Fiction’, 1884, cited in F. O. Matthiesson, The James Family (New York, Knopf, 1947), p. 360; ‘English Traits’, in Emerson, The Prose Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson (Boston, Fields, Osgood & Co., 1870), vol. 2, p. 278; Parkman, The Journals of Francis Parkman, ed. Mason Wade (London, Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1949), vol. 1, p. 221. ‘created Dickens’: J.-K. Huysmans, Against Nature, trans. Robert Baldick (Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1959), p. 138; Walter Benjamin citing G. K. Chesterton, Dickens, in The Arcades Project, trans. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin (Cambridge, MA, Belknap, Harvard University Press, 1999), p. 438.

., Random Sketches and Notes of European Travel in 1856 (New York, Harper and Brothers, 1857) Egan, Pierce, Grose’s Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (London, ‘printed for the editor’, 1823) —, [and George and Robert Cruikshank], Life in London, or, The Day and Night Scenes of Jerry Hawthorn, Esq., and his Elegant Friend Corinthian Tom ... (London, Sherwood, Neely, & Jones, 1821) Elmes, James, Metropolitan Improvements; or, London in the Nineteenth Century ... (London, Jones & Co., 1829) Elson, George, The Last of the Climbing Boys: An Autobiography (London, John Long, 1900) Emerson, Ralph Waldo, ‘English Traits’, in The Prose Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson (Boston, Fields, Osgood & Co., 1870) Every Night Book; or, Life After Dark, ‘by the author of “The Cigar”’ (London, T. Richardson, 1828) The Flash Chaunter ... now singing at Offley’s, Cider Cellers [sic], Coal Hole, &c ... . (first published c.1834; London, W. West [?1865]) Fletcher, Hanslip, London Passed and Passing: A Pictorial Record of Destroyed and Threatened Buildings (London, Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, 1908) Forbes, Mrs E.


pages: 185 words: 43,609

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel, Blake Masters

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Andy Kessler, Berlin Wall, cleantech, cloud computing, crony capitalism, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, Elon Musk, eurozone crisis, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, life extension, lone genius, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, strong AI, Ted Kaczynski, Tesla Model S, uber lyft, Vilfredo Pareto, working poor

To get a scientific answer about Facebook, for example, we’d have to rewind to 2004, create 1,000 copies of the world, and start Facebook in each copy to see how many times it would succeed. But that experiment is impossible. Every company starts in unique circumstances, and every company starts only once. Statistics doesn’t work when the sample size is one. From the Renaissance and the Enlightenment to the mid-20th century, luck was something to be mastered, dominated, and controlled; everyone agreed that you should do what you could, not focus on what you couldn’t. Ralph Waldo Emerson captured this ethos when he wrote: “Shallow men believe in luck, believe in circumstances.… Strong men believe in cause and effect.” In 1912, after he became the first explorer to reach the South Pole, Roald Amundsen wrote: “Victory awaits him who has everything in order—luck, people call it.” No one pretended that misfortune didn’t exist, but prior generations believed in making their own luck by working hard.


The History and Uncertain Future of Handwriting by Anne Trubek

computer age, crowdsourcing, Internet Archive, invention of the printing press, lateral thinking, Norman Mailer, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Steven Pinker, Whole Earth Catalog

For fifty years, Americans would be taught to copy out this one man’s invention in order to succeed in school and work. Spencer’s way of making letters became so popular because he imbued his letters with moral and spiritual valences that elevated his system above mere practicality. He used Lake Erie as the basis, so the “true imagery of writing is culled then from the sublime and beautiful in nature.” Living during the age of American Transcendentalism—the movement led by writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau—Spencer was inspired by nature. He fashioned a’s, b’s, and c’s from the shapes of rocks, branches, and lakes that he looked at every day. The inspiration for his ovals thus came from stone, the branches suggested the linking between letters, and waves lapping on the shore the downstrokes. Sunbeams were straight lines; clouds were curves. As he put it in a poem: Evolved ’mid nature’s unpruned scenes, On Erie’s wild and woody shore, The rolling wave, the dancing stream, The wild-rose haunts in days of yore.


pages: 152 words: 40,733

A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 by Claire Hartfield

desegregation, Ferguson, Missouri, indoor plumbing, new economy, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, strikebreaker, union organizing

Back at the Twenty-Ninth Street beach, the anger was gathering momentum that would wreak havoc far beyond Eugene’s death, spattering blood across the city. As the Defender observed, the rage didn’t blow in out of nowhere that day on the beach: “For years [America] has been sowing the wind and now she is reaping the whirlwind.” PART TWO FIRST WHISPERS Chicago skyline. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none hut he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried. —Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance” THREE Freedom Fight EUGENE WILLIAMS’S MOTHER BURIED her son a few days later, some seventeen years after she had brought him into the world one spring day in Georgia. When the family moved up north, Eugene had found that some of the other children at his school had roots in New York or Philadelphia or had been born right there in Chicago. But most of the kids, or their parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents, had started out life in the South.


pages: 169 words: 43,906

The Website Investor: The Guide to Buying an Online Website Business for Passive Income by Jeff Hunt

buy low sell high, Donald Trump, frictionless, frictionless market, intangible asset, medical malpractice, passive income, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Skype, software as a service

They understand the importance of certain metrics that are specific to websites, like traffic statistics, conversion rates, email open rates, and earnings per page view. They also understand revenue models that are frequently used by websites (such as pay per action, pay per click, subscriptions, etc.) and typical expenses and operational concerns. “No great man ever complains of want of opportunity.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson Dealing with a broker can sometimes be easier than communicating directly with a seller because brokers fundamentally understand what information is important to the buyer of a website. They can also assist you in the sales contract, escrow, and the transition process after there is agreement on price. However, brokers who interfere with direct communication between buyers and sellers or sellers who resist any direct communication are a problem.


pages: 459 words: 123,220

Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert D. Putnam

assortative mating, business cycle, correlation does not imply causation, deindustrialization, demographic transition, desegregation, ending welfare as we know it, epigenetics, full employment, George Akerlof, helicopter parent, impulse control, income inequality, index card, jobless men, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Occupy movement, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, school choice, selection bias, Socratic dialogue, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the built environment, upwardly mobile, Walter Mischel, white flight, working poor

The specific responses we have pursued to successfully overcome these challenges and restore opportunity have varied in detail, but underlying them all was a commitment to invest in other people’s children. And underlying that commitment was a deeper sense that those kids, too, were our kids. Not all Americans have shared that sense of communal obligation. In his essay “Self-Reliance,” Boston Brahmin Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “Do not tell me, as a good man did to-day, of my obligation to put all poor men in good situations. Are they my poor? I tell thee, thou foolish philanthropist, that I grudge the dollar, the dime, the cent, I give to such men as do not belong to me and to whom I do not belong.”70 Emerson spoke eloquently for the individualist tradition in America. The better part of two centuries later, speaking of the recent arrival of unaccompanied immigrant kids, Jay Ash, city manager and native of the gritty, working-class Boston suburb of Chelsea, drew on a more generous, communitarian tradition: “If our kids are in trouble—my kids, our kids, anyone’s kids—we all have a responsibility to look after them.”71 In today’s America, not only is Ash right, but even those among us who think like Emerson should acknowledge our responsibility to these children.

Demography 42 (February 2005): 51–73; Jens Ludwig, Brian Jacob, Greg Duncan, James Rosenbaum, and Michael Johnson, “Neighborhood Effects on Low-Income Families: Evidence from a Housing-Voucher Lottery in Chicago” (working paper, University of Chicago, 2010); Jennifer Darrah and Stefanie DeLuca, “ ‘Living Here Has Changed My Whole Perspective’: How Escaping Inner-City Poverty Shapes Neighborhood and Housing Choice,” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 33 (Spring 2014): 350–84. 70. Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” in Essays: First Series (1841). Thanks to Thomas Spragens for alerting me to this passage. 71. Yvonne Abraham, “Doing Right by the Children in Chelsea,” Boston Globe, August 31, 2014. The Stories of Our Kids 1. Some quotations have been lightly edited to remove interjections, false starts, and repetition. For the sake of coherence, comments about the same subject from different parts of an interview have occasionally been placed together as a single statement.


pages: 405 words: 130,840

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

coherent worldview, crack epidemic, delayed gratification, feminist movement, hedonic treadmill, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, invisible hand, job satisfaction, Lao Tzu, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Peter Singer: altruism, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, placebo effect, prisoner's dilemma, Ralph Waldo Emerson, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), social intelligence, stem cell, telemarketer, the scientific method, twin studies, ultimatum game, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game

Vol. 1, Theoretical models of human development (pp. 939—991). Ne w York: Wiley. E l i a d e , M. ( 1 9 5 9 / 1 9 5 7 ) . The sacred and the profane: The nature of religion, (W. R. Task, Trans.). San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace. Emerson, R. W. (1960a/1838). The divinity school address. In S. Whicher (Ed.), Selections from Ralph Waldo Emerson ( p p . 100—1 16). B o s t o n : H o u g h t o n Mifflin. Emerson, R. W. (1960b/1838). Nature. In S. Whicher (Ed.), Selections from Ralph Waldo Emerson (pp. 21—56). Boston: Houghton Mifflin. E m m o n s , R. A. ( 1 9 9 9 ) . The psychology of ultimate ccmcems: Motivation and spirituality in personality. Ne w York: Guilford. Emmons, R. A. (2003). Personal goals, life meaning, and virtue: Wellsprings of a positive life. In C. L. M. Keyes 8c J. Haidt (Eds.), Flourishing: Positive psychology and the life well-lived (pp. 105—128).


pages: 913 words: 299,770

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

active measures, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, American ideology, anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, death of newspapers, desegregation, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, friendly fire, full employment, God and Mammon, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, jobless men, land reform, Mercator projection, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, very high income, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration

The Cherokees were summoned to sign the removal treaty in New Echota, Georgia, in 1836, but fewer than five hundred of the seventeen thousand Cherokees appeared. The treaty was signed anyway. The Senate, including northerners who had once spoken for the Indian, ratified it, yielding, as Senator Edward Everett of Massachusetts said, to “the force of circumstances . . . the hard necessity.” Now the Georgia whites stepped up their attacks to speed the removal. The government did not move immediately against the Cherokees. In April 1838, Ralph Waldo Emerson addressed an open letter to President Van Buren, referring with indignation to the removal treaty with the Cherokees (signed behind the backs of an overwhelming majority of them) and asked what had happened to the sense of justice in America: The soul of man, the justice, the mercy that is the heart’s heart in all men, from Maine to Georgia, does abhor this business . . . a crime is projected that confounds our understandings by its magnitude, a crime that really deprives us as well as the Cherokees of a country for how could we call the conspiracy that should crush these poor Indians our government, or the land that was cursed by their parting and dying imprecations our country any more?

Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice. A common and natural result of an undue respect for law is, that you may see a file of soldiers . . . marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, ay, against their common sense and consciences, which makes it very steep marching indeed, and produces a palpitation of the heart. His friend and fellow writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, agreed, but thought it futile to protest. When Emerson visited Thoreau in jail and asked, “What are you doing in there?” it was reported that Thoreau replied, “What are you doing out there?” The churches, for the most part, were either outspokenly for the war or timidly silent. Generally, no one but the Congregational, Quaker, and Unitarian churches spoke clearly against the war. However, one Baptist minister, the Reverend Francis Wayland, president of Brown University, gave three sermons in the university chapel in which he said that only wars of self-defense were just, and in case of unjust war, the individual was morally obligated to resist it and lend no money to the government to support it.

While insisting that the raid was too hopelessly and ridiculously small to accomplish anything . . . the state nevertheless spent $250,000 to punish the invaders, stationed from one to three thousand soldiers in the vicinity and threw the nation into turmoil. In John Brown’s last written statement, in prison, before he was hanged, he said: “I, John Brown, am quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, not an activist himself, said of the execution of John Brown: “He will make the gallows holy as the cross.” Of the twenty-two men in John Brown’s striking force, five were black. Two of these were killed on the spot, one escaped, and two were hanged by the authorities. Before his execution, John Copeland wrote to his parents: Remember that if I must die I die in trying to liberate a few of my poor and oppressed people from my condition of servitude which God in his Holy Writ has hurled his most bitter denunciations against. . . .


Because We Say So by Noam Chomsky

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, Chelsea Manning, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Julian Assange, Malacca Straits, Martin Wolf, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, Powell Memorandum, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Slavoj Žižek, Stanislav Petrov, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

In short, when they have the opportunity, “the Masters of Mankind” pursue their “vile maxim . . . all for ourselves and nothing for other people,” as Adam Smith explained long ago. Mass public education is one of the great achievements of American society. It has had many dimensions. One purpose was to prepare independent farmers for life as wage laborers who would tolerate what they regarded as virtual slavery. The coercive element did not pass without notice. Ralph Waldo Emerson observed that political leaders call for popular education because they fear that “This country is filling up with thousands and millions of voters, and you must educate them to keep them from our throats.” But educated the right way: Limit their perspectives and understanding, discourage free and independent thought, and train them for obedience. The “vile maxim” and its implementation have regularly called forth resistance, which in turn evokes the same fears among the elite.


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, George Santayana, Lao Tzu, large denomination, personalized medicine, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the map is not the territory

Sierra Club founder John Muir (an ur-vagabonder if there ever was one) used to express amazement at the well-heeled travelers who would visit Yosemite only to rush away after a few hours of sightseeing. Muir called these folks the “time-poor” — people who were so obsessed with tending their material wealth and social standing that they couldn’t spare the time to truly experience the splendor of California’s Sierra wilderness. One of Muir’s Yosemite visitors in the summer of 1871 was Ralph Waldo Emerson, who gushed upon seeing the sequoias, “It’s a wonder that we can see these trees and not wonder more.” When Emerson scurried off a couple hours later, however, Muir speculated wryly about whether the famous transcendentalist had really seen the trees in the first place. Nearly a century later, naturalist Edwin Way Teale used Muir’s example to lament the frenetic pace of modern society. “Freedom as John Muir knew it,” he wrote in his 1956 book Autumn Across America, “with its wealth of time, its unregimented days, its latitude of choice . . . such freedom seems more rare, more difficult to attain, more remote with each new generation.”


pages: 484 words: 136,735

Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy in the Aftermath of Crisis by Anatole Kaletsky

"Robert Solow", bank run, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, buy and hold, Carmen Reinhart, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Glaeser, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Akerlof, global rebalancing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, market design, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Nelson Mandela, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, paradox of thrift, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, statistical model, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

But why were so many policymakers—not just Henry Paulson and George W. Bush but also Gordon Brown, Ben Bernanke, and Tim Geithner—so slow to acknowledge the need for government intervention? A large part of the explanation can be found in the sad state of modern economic theory, the subject to which we now turn. CHAPTER ELEVEN There Is No Can Opener A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. —Ralph Waldo Emerson AN ECONOMIST, a chemist, and a physicist are marooned on a desert island. Their only food is a can of beans, but they have no can opener. What are they to do? The physicist says: “Let’s try and focus the tropical sun onto the lid—it might melt a hole.” “No,” says the chemist. “We should first pour salt water on the lid—maybe that will rust it.” The economist interrupts: “You’re wasting time with all these complicated ideas.

The bankers and regulators whose faith in efficient markets almost wrecked the global financial system might then have heeded Keynes’s famous dictum: “When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done.” Or suppose that rational expectations had been renamed internally consistent expectations, as some of its proponents originally suggested. An adequate refutation might then have been Ralph Waldo Emerson’s acerbic comment that “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” To continue this thought experiment, try replacing perfect competition with ruthless exploitation, general equilibrium with timeless stasis, Pareto Optimality with Entrenched Privilege, Ricardian Equivalence with Barro’s False Assumption, natural rate of unemployment with deliberate job destruction, and so on.


pages: 539 words: 139,378

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

affirmative action, Black Swan, cognitive bias, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, index card, invisible hand, lateral thinking, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Necker cube, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, social intelligence, social web, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Spirit Level, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, ultimatum game

One of the most intriguing facts about the hive switch is that there are many ways to turn it on. Even if you doubt that the switch is a group-level adaptation, I hope you’ll agree with me that the switch exists, and that it generally makes people less selfish and more loving. Here are three examples of switch flipping that you might have experienced yourself. 1. Awe in Nature In the 1830s, Ralph Waldo Emerson delivered a set of lectures on nature that formed the foundation of American Transcendentalism, a movement that rejected the analytic hyperintellectualism of America’s top universities. Emerson argued that the deepest truths must be known by intuition, not reason, and that experiences of awe in nature were among the best ways to trigger such intuitions. He described the rejuvenation and joy he gained from looking at the stars, or at a vista of rolling farmland, or from a simple walk in the woods: Standing on the bare ground,—my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space,—all mean egotism vanishes.

The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion. Trans. W. R. Task. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace. Ellis, J. J. 1996. American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson. New York: Vintage. Ellsworth, P. C., and C. A. Smith. 1985. “Patterns of Cognitive Appraisal in Emotion.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 48:813–38. Emerson, R. W. 1960/1838. “Nature.” In Selections from Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. S. Whicher, 21–56. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Eskine, K. J., N. A. Kacinic, and J. J. Prinz. 2011. “A Bad Taste in the Mouth: Gustatory Influences on Moral Judgment.” Psychological Science 22:295–99. Evans-Pritchard, E. E. 1976. Witchcraft, Oracles, and Magic Among the Azande. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Faulkner, J., M. Schaller, J. H. Park, and L. A. Duncan. 2004. “Evolved Disease-Avoidance Mechanisms and Contemporary Xenophobic Attitudes.”


pages: 219 words: 51,207

Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion by Alain de Botton

Anton Chekhov, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley

In the preface to a volume of his collected sermons, John Wesley explained and defended his adherence to simplicity: ‘I design plain truth for plain people: therefore … I abstain from all nice and philosophical speculations; from all perplexed and intricate reasonings; and, as far as possible, from even the show of learning. My design is … to forget all that ever I have read in my life.’ A handful of brave secular writers have been able to express themselves with a similarly inspiring openness, among the most notable being Donald Winnicott in the field of psychoanalysis and Ralph Waldo Emerson in literature. But these characters have been regrettably few in number, and most have also drawn upon a religious background to mould and buttress their sensibilities (Winnicott began as a Methodist, Emerson as a Transcendentalist). The greatest Christian preachers have been vulgar in the very best sense. While not surrendering any of their claims to complexity or insight, they have wished to help those who came to hear them. 7.


pages: 166 words: 49,639

Start It Up: Why Running Your Own Business Is Easier Than You Think by Luke Johnson

Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, business cycle, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Grace Hopper, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, James Dyson, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Kickstarter, mass immigration, mittelstand, Network effects, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, patent troll, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, software patent, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, traveling salesman, tulip mania, Vilfredo Pareto, wealth creators

Companies and investors will rush towards the latest fad, as moths to a candle; that is how bubbles are created. Exponential growth is always the magic ingredient, be it the dotcom boom, China or alternative energy. Of course, some of these new fads will turn out to be genuine opportunities, but that does not mean that you can make money out of them, especially if promoters have intermediated matters and taken the best profits. ‘Do your thing and I shall know you’ Ralph Waldo Emerson So if you are picking a business partner, hiring a head of sales, or choosing a franchise formula – dig beneath the surface. Do not be taken in by froth – ask the tough questions, and be honest with yourself. Does the idea have staying power? Does your prospective partner get his or her hands dirty? From time to time we all get seduced by ever-upwards projections of sales and profits.


pages: 174 words: 52,064

Operation Lighthouse: Reflections on Our Family's Devastating Story of Coercive Control and Domestic Homicide by Luke Hart, Ryan Hart

access to a mobile phone, late fees, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Skype, zero-sum game

We wish to encourage other victims to tell their stories. Domestic abuse is very much something people don’t wish to see or hear about. People would rather if it stayed at home, behind closed doors. Those of us who have experienced its effects need to speak up so that it becomes normal for domestic abuse not to occur, not simply that we don’t hear about it. 5 Overcoming We acquire the strength we overcome Ralph Waldo Emerson Sinking Feeling From an external appearance, not only would we have seemed to be three children doing OK, we were actively succeeding in many areas of our life. At the time this appeared to be from harmless motivation and industriousness. Yet, we harboured a deep fear inside. As children, we were blind to our strengths and weaknesses and we looked for validation of these from the external world.


Design of Business: Why Design Thinking Is the Next Competitive Advantage by Roger L. Martin

asset allocation, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Frank Gehry, global supply chain, high net worth, Innovator's Dilemma, Isaac Newton, mobile money, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, six sigma, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Wall-E, winner-take-all economy

Apple Computer (as it was known then) wasn’t wrong when it inferred that customers would value a small, portable, digital assistant, but it didn’t ultimately deliver a solution that matched the insight. Why You’ve Never Heard of Charles Sanders Peirce by Jennifer Riel Bertrand Russell called him “beyond doubt … one of the most original minds of the later nineteenth century and certainly the greatest American thinker ever.” 4 So why is Charles Sanders Peirce at best an obscure footnote, while other nineteenth-century American philosophers like William James, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau are still widely read today? Peirce has been characterized as a prickly misanthrope, which may help explain his low profile. He acknowledged it himself, contrasting his own personality with that of his friend William James: “He is so concrete, so living; I a mere table of contents, so abstract, a very snarl of twine.” 5 Many intellectuals have had cranky dispositions, yet have gone on to great acclaim.


pages: 181 words: 50,196

The Rich and the Rest of Us by Tavis Smiley

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Buckminster Fuller, Corrections Corporation of America, Credit Default Swap, death of newspapers, deindustrialization, ending welfare as we know it, F. W. de Klerk, fixed income, full employment, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, income inequality, job automation, liberation theology, Mahatma Gandhi, mass incarceration, mega-rich, Nelson Mandela, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, traffic fines, trickle-down economics, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, white flight, women in the workforce, working poor

A dynamite fuse has been lit outside of the communities where the “safe class” resides in luxurious, gated spaces while working people and poor people are struggling in the bankruptcy of the streets. Within the bosom of the Black prophetic tradition, liberation theology, and social justice advocacy, righteous indignation toward poverty is now given moral license to explode. These traditions demand that we reject violence but welcome public outrage at corporate and societal greed. As the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds, “A good indignation brings out all one’s powers.” We are steadfast in our belief that the legacy of social justice remains the last hope for American democracy. PRISONS AND THE POOR “… For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”


pages: 825 words: 228,141

MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Tony Robbins

3D printing, active measures, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, addicted to oil, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, backtesting, bitcoin, buy and hold, clean water, cloud computing, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, Dean Kamen, declining real wages, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, estate planning, fear of failure, fiat currency, financial independence, fixed income, forensic accounting, high net worth, index fund, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, lake wobegon effect, Lao Tzu, London Interbank Offered Rate, market bubble, money market fund, mortgage debt, new economy, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, optical character recognition, Own Your Own Home, passive investing, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, riskless arbitrage, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, telerobotics, the rule of 72, thinkpad, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, World Values Survey, X Prize, Yogi Berra, young professional, zero-sum game

Books on psychology, time management, history, philosophy, physiology. I wanted to know about anything that could immediately change the quality of my life and anyone else’s. But the books I read as a child made the deepest impression. They were my ticket out of a world of pain: a world with no compelling future. They transported me to a realm of limitless possibilities. I can remember Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay on self-reliance, and the lines “There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion.” Another was a book by the philosopher James Allen, As a Man Thinketh, echoing the biblical proverb “As a man thinketh, so his heart will be.” It came to me at a time when my mind was a battlefield filled with fear.

What does your gut tell you? What about your heart? If you’re looking for guidance on this, experts say you should plan to save at least a minimum of 10% of your income, although in today’s economy many agree 15% is a far better number, especially if you’re over the age of 40. (You’ll find out why in section 3!) Can anybody remember when the times were not hard and money not scarce? —RALPH WALDO EMERSON By now you might be saying, “This all sounds great in theory, Tony, but I’m spread thin enough as it is! Every penny is accounted for.” And you wouldn’t be alone. Most people don’t think they can afford to save. But frankly, we can’t afford not to save. Believe me, all of us can find that extra money if we really have to have it right now for a real emergency! The problem is in coming up with money for our future selves, because our future selves just don’t seem real.

So what’s your Financial Independence number? Go to the app or write it here now: $_______. Remember, clarity is power. When your brain knows a real number, your conscious mind will figure out a way to get there. You now know the income you need to be financially secure, vital, and independent. So let’s see what happens when your dreams get bigger. Dare to live the dreams you have dreamed for yourself. —RALPH WALDO EMERSON Let me tell you the story of Ron and Michelle, a couple I met at one of the seminars I hold every year at my resort in Fiji. They were in their mid-30s, with two small children. Successful people, they owned a small business in Colorado. Ron was great at running their business, but neither of them paid attention to their household finances. (That’s why he was in Fiji attending my Business Mastery event, to grow his business 30% to 130%.)


pages: 168 words: 56,211

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work by Alain de Botton

Donald Trump, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, Ralph Waldo Emerson, spice trade, supply-chain management, Vilfredo Pareto

It had only a handful of members, it had no cafeteria, it could barely afford to send out a newsletter. As a result, a sympathetic response to an electricity pylon remained for most of us a haphazard and unsupported impulse, an epiphany which might last for a minute on a drive along a motorway or on a walk along a moor, but to which no prestige could be attached and from which little of merit could emerge. In an essay entitled ‘The Poet’, published in 1844, the American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson lamented the narrow definition of beauty subscribed to by his peers, who tended to reserve the term exclusively for the bucolic landscapes and unspoilt pastoral scenes celebrated in the works of well-known artists and poets of the past. Emerson himself, however, writing at the dawn of the industrial age, observing with interest the proliferation of railways, warehouses, canals and factories, wished to make room for the possibility of alternative forms of beauty.


pages: 181 words: 53,257

Taming the To-Do List: How to Choose Your Best Work Every Day by Glynnis Whitwer

delayed gratification, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, Firefox, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, late fees, Mason jar, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Walter Mischel

As you consider the two goals you set at the beginning of the book, are there any “myths” that are hindering your completion of them? To begin to master your workload and goals, try to identify what false reasons might be hindering you. Myths I tell myself . . . About my regular task: About my personal goal: 6 * * * Overcoming Our Fears A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer. Ralph Waldo Emerson My elementary school campus was divided between lower and upper grades. First through fourth composed the lower grades, and fifth through eighth the upper grades. Not only was there an age difference but the upper grades also had separate buildings and a separate playground, rotated between classes, and ate a later lunch. As the start of fifth grade approached, my anxiety level increased.


Masters of Mankind by Noam Chomsky

affirmative action, American Legislative Exchange Council, Berlin Wall, failed state, God and Mammon, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, Martin Wolf, means of production, Nelson Mandela, nuremberg principles, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, union organizing, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system

But withness is more than reporting to others. Withness takes us beyond personal interest, accepting the risks of the other when there is no “pragmatic” reason to do so. Withness is an instrument of awareness that helps us to know where and who we are, for it locates ourselves with others, and asks through example that others relocate and reorder themselves. When Henry David Thoreau, protesting the poll tax, was asked by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Henry, why are you here?” Thoreau responded, “Waldo, why are you not here?”3 There was no need for Chomsky to commit civil disobedience during the Indochina war except as a citizen responsibility. It was his statement of withness responsibility with the unseen Other. Our government could not respond to the anguish of millions; its policy makers were the chief culprits. If Chomsky’s sensibility and drive were more infectious, it would be the saving possibility and hope of humanity.


pages: 201 words: 21,180

Designing for the Social Web by Joshua Porter

barriers to entry, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Howard Rheingold, late fees, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Milgram experiment, Paul Buchheit, Ralph Waldo Emerson, recommendation engine, social software, social web, Steve Jobs, web application, zero-sum game

That kids tend to intuitively grasp and embrace the social nature of the experience is a strong predictor of this future. 18 http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm 21 2 A Framework for Social Web Design The AOF method for making early and crucial design decisions “ It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson If there is one disease that affects nearly all design projects, it’s feature creep. It is the deadly affliction in which design teams gradually add feature after feature, like straws on a camel’s back, until they ultimately overload their interface and make the software difficult to use. Feature creep happens when there is a lack of sustained focus on what’s most important. Instead of deciding on a few core features to support, the team ends up trying to support too many.


pages: 160 words: 53,435

Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction by Tracy Kidder, Richard Todd

Atul Gawande, demand response, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Joan Didion, moral hazard, Norman Mailer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Yogi Berra

Kidder was trying to cajole me into a piece of work, and he cited Keats’s advice to Shelley on avoiding excesses: “Curb your magnanimity,” wrote the tactful Keats. I had the opposite problem, in Kidder’s view: stinginess. He was trying to make me flesh out a typically underdone paragraph of mine. “Unleash your magnanimity,” he said. Oh brother. It had come to this. One had heard oneself. NOTES ON USAGE In 1859 Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “Never use the word development. Dangerous words in like kind are display, improvement, peruse, circumstances …” Those words have survived the great man’s scorn—though he was probably right about “peruse.” Every generation has its verbal fashions and critics who deplore them. Some usages, seemingly poisonous, get absorbed harmlessly into the language; others die out. A century after Emerson, many were alarmed by the spread of “finalize,” but that epidemic subsided, and the word doesn’t seem to cause much concern when it appears today.


pages: 177 words: 54,421

Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Ben Horowitz, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Burning Man, delayed gratification, Google Glasses, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Lao Tzu, Paul Graham, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, side project, South Sea Bubble, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Upton Sinclair

Over the course of your own career, you will face the choices that he did—that all people do. Whether you built your empire from nothing or inherited it, whether your wealth is financial or merely a cultivated talent, entropy is seeking to destroy it as you read this. Can you handle success? Or will it be the worst thing that ever happened to you? ALWAYS STAY A STUDENT Every man I meet is my master in some point, and in that I learn of him. —RALPH WALDO EMERSON The legend of Genghis Khan has echoed through history: A barbarian conqueror, fueled by bloodlust, terrorizing the civilized world. We have him and his Mongol horde traveling across Asia and Europe, insatiable, stopping at nothing to plunder, rape, and kill not just the people who stood in their way, but the cultures they had built. Then, not unlike his nomadic band of warriors, this terrible cloud simply disappeared from history, because the Mongols built nothing that could last.


pages: 189 words: 52,741

Lifestyle Entrepreneur: Live Your Dreams, Ignite Your Passions and Run Your Business From Anywhere in the World by Jesse Krieger

Airbnb, always be closing, bounce rate, call centre, carbon footprint, commoditize, Deng Xiaoping, different worldview, financial independence, follow your passion, income inequality, iterative process, Ralph Waldo Emerson, search engine result page, Skype, software as a service, South China Sea, Steve Jobs

However to get there, you must carry out the Actions that comprise your business as this is the execution of your vision and mission statements and the core of becoming a Lifestyle Entrepreneur. Once the Planning is Done, You Must Spring Into… ACTION “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” — Leonardo da Vinci “The Ancestor of Every Action is a Thought.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson Take Action On Your Mission to Realize Your Vision This is where the rubber meets the road. Vision and Mission describe your business in conceptual, abstract terms, the Actions and Product components of the V-MAP Framework are tactical and action-oriented. The second half of this book is primarily Actions and Product focused. Whether your vision is owning a business that runs on auto-pilot, or working hard and running a high-growth international company, the practical activities necessary to actualize that vision are laid out in this book.


pages: 339 words: 57,031

From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism by Fred Turner

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, bioinformatics, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, game design, George Gilder, global village, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, peer-to-peer, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Hackers Conference, theory of mind, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yom Kippur War

And like his young audiences, he displayed a highly individualistic turn of mind and a deep concern with the fate of the species. Fuller made his name designing futuristic technologies such as the threewheeled Dymaxion car and, most famously, the geodesic dome, but the roots of his interests reached deep into America’s pre-industrial past. Born in 1895, Fuller was the latest in a long line of Unitarian ministers, lawyers, and writers. His great-aunt, Margaret Fuller, had joined Ralph Waldo Emerson to cofound the Dial, the preeminent literary journal of American Transcendentalism and the first magazine to publish Henry David Thoreau. Margaret served as an intellectual model for the young Buckminster. “When I heard that Aunt Margaret said, ‘I must start with the universe and work down to the parts, I must have an understanding of it,’ that became a great drive for me,” he recalled.26 For the Transcendentalists, as later for Fuller himself, the material world could be imagined as a series of corresponding forms, each linked to every other according to invisible but omnipresent principles.

After all, the reader’s flesh has a surface anatomy of its own; the skin of his hands is not so different from the skin in the photographs. Perhaps he is a “whole system” as well. Perhaps he is both a citizen of the earth and, as a packet of informational [ 86 ] Chapter 3 patterns, its emblem too, just as he is both a reader of the Whole Earth Catalog (a system of tools) and, potentially, a tool for others in his own right. In this dizzying string of analogies, we can hear echoes of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Norbert Wiener, and, of course, Buckminster Fuller. But for many of the readers of the Whole Earth Catalog, the analogies were more than the stuff of Romantic or cybernetic theory. They could be lived. In keeping with Brand’s statement of its purpose, and with the collective ambitions of the New Communalists, the Catalog’s structure and rhetorical strategies worked to shape an imagined reader who was a visionary, with a view of the planet’s condition, and a local actor, with the ability to shape the larger world by shaping his local surroundings.


A Voyage Long and Strange: On the Trail of Vikings, Conquistadors, Lost Colonists, and Other Adventurers in Early America by Tony Horwitz

airport security, Atahualpa, back-to-the-land, Bartolomé de las Casas, Colonization of Mars, Columbian Exchange, dematerialisation, diversified portfolio, Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, joint-stock company, out of africa, Ralph Waldo Emerson, trade route, urban renewal

“I see no reason why one should justly object to calling this part Amerige,” Waldseemüller wrote, “or America, after Amerigo, its discoverer, a man of great ability.” His revised world map had “America” engraved next to a landmass roughly resembling Brazil. Waldseemüller later changed his mind and dropped the name from a subsequent edition. But “America” was reprised in 1538 by the great cartographer Gerard Mercator, who applied it to continents both north and south. “Strange,” lamented Ralph Waldo Emerson, “that broad America must wear the name of a thief. Amerigo Vespucci, the pickledealer at Seville, who . . . managed in this lying world to supplant Columbus and baptize half the earth with his own dishonest name.” AFTER SEVERAL DAYS in Santo Domingo, I met a museum guide named Carlos who taught English as his second job and agreed to take on a third, as my translator. Lean and handsome, with close-cropped black hair, Carlos had a firmly set jaw that emphasized his glumness.

Augustine had another problem, which dated to 1821, when Spain ceded Florida to the United States. Americans started visiting the town, drawn by its warm climate and exoticism. Mostly Protestant New Englanders, they were shocked and titillated by St. Augustine’s “popery,” describing masked carnivals and a Good Friday custom known as “shooting the Jews,” when locals hung effigies and peppered them with bullets. Ralph Waldo Emerson, who traveled to St. Augustine in 1827 to recover from tuberculosis, was one of many who relished the city’s “dim vestiges of a romantic past” and ancient stones redolent of “a thousand heavy histories.” Hucksters quickly learned to trade on this nostalgia by wreathing the city in hoary fictions. At one time, four different buildings laid claim to being the oldest city’s oldest house, including one allegedly built by Franciscan monks in 1565 (Florida had no Franciscans at that time, and no houses in St.


pages: 501 words: 145,943

If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities by Benjamin R. Barber

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, Berlin Wall, bike sharing scheme, borderless world, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, clean water, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, digital Maoism, disintermediation, edge city, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, Etonian, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global pandemic, global village, Hernando de Soto, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, London Interbank Offered Rate, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, megacity, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, obamacare, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peace of Westphalia, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, Tony Hsieh, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, unpaid internship, urban sprawl, War on Poverty, zero-sum game

It is still there, palpable if not fully recoverable, in the idyll that continues to haunt modern urban memory, a nostalgic naturalist daydream drawn from some farm girl’s remembered childhood: family hearth in winter, rustling cornfields on an August afternoon, wide-open skies all year-round. The affecting poetry of loss emanating from A. E. Housman’s lament for a “land of lost content” echoes in the anxieties of ambivalent urbanites in cities across the world. It glows on television in the image of a little house on the American prairie or in BBC manor-house comedies celebrating quaint country squires and their seductively simple-minded rural shenanigans. We know, writes Ralph Waldo Emerson, when seen in the streets of cities, how great are the stars above.1 We know, when imagined from the London underground, how verdant are the Devon hedgerows. And we know too, when imagined from gleaming towers set down in the sands of the bleached Dubai desert, how poignant are the longings of a Bangladeshi migrant worker for the rippling greenery of a faraway riverbank village. Country reveries dreamt in the dark heart of the city are not the only idylls troubling modern memory.

Peter Laslett’s moving account of the withering of village life in England, The World We Have Lost, New York: Methuen, 1965. Profile 1. Michael Bloomberg of New York 1. Gabriel Sherman, “The Mayor of Mayors,” New York Magazine, June 11, 2012. 2. Sridhar Pappu, “What’s Next for Michael Bloomberg,” Fastcompany, August 8, 2011, http://www.fastcompany.com/1769004/whats-next-michael-bloomberg. Chapter 2. The Land of Lost Content 1. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature [1836], in Nature/Walking, ed. John Elder, Boston: Beacon Press, 1994, p. 6. 2. Michael Lesy, Wisconsin Death Trip, New York: Pantheon Books, 1973. 3. In novels like Far from the Madding Crowd and Jude the Obscure, Thomas Hardy could be both endearing and caustic about rural life in England, but writers like Laurie Lee (Cider with Rosie) and John Betjeman captured the romance of the English countryside without ambivalence in their poetry.


pages: 187 words: 58,839

Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton

hiring and firing, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, means of production, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen

Many of Napoleon’s leading appointees came from modest backgrounds, among them his prefects at the Ministry of the Interior, his scientific advisers and a number of senators. In Napoleon’s words, hereditary nobles were “the curse of the nation, imbeciles and hereditary asses!” Even after his fall, Napolean’s ideas endured and won over influential proponents in Europe and the United States. Ralph Waldo Emerson expressed a desire to see “every man placed where he belongs, with so much power confided to him as he would carry and use.” Thomas Carlyle, for his part, was outraged by the way the children of the rich squandered their money while those of the poor were denied even a rudimentary education: “What shall we say of the Idle Aristocracy, the owners of the soil of England; whose recognised function is that of handsomely consuming the rents of England and shooting the partridges of England?”


pages: 330 words: 59,335

The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success by William Thorndike

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Berlin Wall, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, Claude Shannon: information theory, collapse of Lehman Brothers, compound rate of return, corporate governance, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Gordon Gekko, intangible asset, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, NetJets, Norman Mailer, oil shock, pattern recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, shared worldview, shareholder value, six sigma, Steve Jobs, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

Phil Fisher, a famous investor, once compared companies to restaurants—over time through a combination of policies and decisions (analogous to cuisine, prices, and ambiance), they self-select for a certain clientele. By this standard, both Buffett and Singleton intentionally ran highly unusual restaurants that over time attracted like-minded, long-term-oriented customer/shareholders. CHAPTER 3 The Turnaround Bill Anders and General Dynamics A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. —Ralph Waldo Emerson In 1989, after nearly thirty years as the international symbol of Cold War tension and anxiety, the Berlin Wall came down, and, with its fall, the US defense industry’s longtime business model also crumbled. The industry had traditionally relied on selling the large weapons systems (missiles, bombers, and so forth) that were the backbone of US post–World War II military strategy. As the decades-long policy of Soviet containment became seemingly obsolete overnight, the industry was thrust into turmoil.


pages: 186 words: 57,798

Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Kurlansky

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, continuation of politics by other means, desegregation, European colonialism, Khyber Pass, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, polynesian navigation, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, working poor

With the war over, activists were free to launch a full-scale critique of warfare. In the early 1820s a Pennsylvania Peace Society was led not by a Quaker, but by Henry Holcombe, another veteran of the American Revolution. In 1828 an umbrella group was formed to unite all the peace societies, called the American Peace Society. Peace societies became an important intellectual force in nineteenth-century America, attracting speakers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, who believed that humankind went to war because it was backward and undeveloped and that it would eventually abandon such practices. As time distanced America from its founding experience, more and more Americans dared to speak out against the official version of the Revolutionary War. In 1839, Charles K. Whipple, a second-generation American born in 1808, wrote an antiwar tract titled Evils of the Revolutionary War.


pages: 257 words: 68,203

The Talent Code: Greatest Isn't Born, It's Grown, Here's How by Daniel Coyle

Albert Einstein, Bob Geldof, deliberate practice, experimental subject, impulse control, longitudinal study, Ralph Waldo Emerson

Not that geniuses don't exist: the teachers I spoke with pegged the genius rate at about one per decade. “Very occasionally we'll get a super-top genius talent. I have no idea how their brains function,” said Meadowmount's Skye Carman. “But it's a tiny, tiny percentage. The rest of us mortals have to work at it.” 2 Ignition Chapter 5 Primal Cues Every great and commanding moment in the annals of the world is a triumph of some enthusiasm. —Ralph Waldo Emerson “IF SHE CAN DO IT, WHY CAN'T I?” Growing skill, as we've seen, requires deep practice. But deep practice isn't a piece of cake: it requires energy, passion, and commitment. In a word, it requires motivational fuel, the second element of the talent code. In this section we'll see how motivation is created and sustained through a process I call ignition. Ignition and deep practice work together to produce skill in exactly the same way that a gas tank combines with an engine to produce velocity in an automobile.


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, coherent worldview, creative destruction, David Brooks, don't be evil, fear of failure, hiring and firing, index fund, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Lao Tzu, Menlo Park, Paul Graham, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, superconnector, technology bubble, traffic fines, Year of Magical Thinking

Even as I began slowly pulling away from the dayto-day minutia of my other teenage friends, I must have been doing something right. I later earned the top honor in my eighth-grade yearbook: “Most Popular.” (I also received “Most Likely to Be U.S. President,” but who cares about that?) CHAPTER 5.0 First Meeting with a VC (It’s All About the Network) My chief want in life is someone who shall make me do what I can. RALPH WALDO EMERSON For entrepreneurs, getting a meeting with a venture capitalist on the fabled Sand Hill Road, which runs through Menlo Park, and along the northern edge of the Stanford University campus, is a worthy accomplishment. If you don’t know a VC personally, it can take dozens of calls and emails to secure a meeting with someone who could fund your start-up. And dozens of calls and emails are no guarantee of an audience.


pages: 173 words: 59,825

Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving With the Self-Absorbed by Wendy T. Behary

gravity well, Ralph Waldo Emerson, social intelligence

To this end, the following chapters will help you sharpen your awareness, harness your courage, and maintain your enthusiasm while developing the skills you need for creating effective outcomes when dealing with the narcissist in your life. chapter 4 Overcoming the Obstacles: Communication Pitfalls, Snags, and Glitches It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. —Ralph Waldo Emerson You now have a framework for understanding narcissism: how to define it, how it affects the lives of narcissists, and how that acerbic behavior impacts those who must deal with these people (something you were probably all too familiar with already). The earlier chapters have given you a glimpse of the origins of narcissism and a conceptual understanding of these challenging people. Previous chapters have also provided a background in several fields of psychological science that inform a strategy for changing your relationship with the narcissist.


pages: 204 words: 61,491

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman, Jeff Riggenbach Ph.

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, global village, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of the printing press, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, the medium is the message

Alfred Bunn, an Englishman on an extensive tour through America, reported in 1853 that “practically every village had its lecture hall.” 35 He added: “It is a matter of wonderment ... to witness the youthful workmen, the over-tired artisan, the worn-out factory girl ... rushing ... after the toil of the day is over, into the hot atmosphere of a crowded lecture room.”36 Bunn’s countryman J. F. W. Johnston attended lectures at this time at the Smithsonian Institution and “found the lecture halls jammed with capacity audiences of 1200 and 1500 people.”37 Among the lecturers these audiences could hear were the leading intellectuals, writers and humorists (who were also writers) of their time, including Henry Ward Beecher, Horace Greeley, Louis Agassiz and Ralph Waldo Emerson (whose fee for a lecture was fifty dollars).38 In his autobiography, Mark Twain devotes two chapters to his experiences as a lecturer on the Lyceum circuit. “I began as a lecturer in 1866 in California arid Nevada,” he wrote. “[I] lectured in New York once and in the Mississippi Valley a few times; in 1868 [I] made the whole Western circuit; and in the two or three following seasons added the Eastern circuit to my route.”39 Apparently, Emerson was underpaid since Twain remarks that some lecturers charged as much as $250 when they spoke in towns and $400 when they spoke in cities (which is almost as much, in today’s terms, as the going price for a lecture by a retired television newscaster).


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, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, loss aversion, low cost airline, Mahatma Gandhi, microcredit, minimum viable product, Nelson Mandela, North Sea oil, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, Shai Danziger, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, sovereign wealth fund, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Jobs, Vilfredo Pareto

One reason for this is that the activities don’t work in concert, so they don’t add up into a meaningful whole. For example, pursuing five different majors, each of them perfectly good, does not equal a degree. Likewise, five different jobs in five different industries do not add up to a forward-moving career. Without clarity and purpose, pursuing something because it is good is not good enough to make a high level of contribution. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The crime which bankrupts men and states is that of job-work;—declining from your main design to serve a turn here or there.” When teams are really clear about their purpose and their individual roles, on the other hand, it is amazing what happens to team dynamics. Formal momentum accelerates, adding up to a higher cumulative contribution of the team as a whole. So how do we achieve clarity of purpose in our teams and even our personal endeavors?


pages: 836 words: 158,284

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Timothy Ferriss

23andMe, airport security, Albert Einstein, Black Swan, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, correlation does not imply causation, Dean Kamen, game design, Gary Taubes, index card, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, microbiome, p-value, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, placebo effect, Productivity paradox, publish or perish, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, Thorstein Veblen, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, William of Occam

It might change your mind. End of Chapter Notes 1. Okay, I did have a few cold ones in Munich. It was one-third the cost of bottled water. 2. See the “Living Forever” chapter for more on this. THE SLOW-CARB DIET II The Finer Points and Common Questions As to methods, there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. —Ralph Waldo Emerson The system is the solution. —AT&T This chapter answers the most common questions related to the Slow-Carb Diet, shares real-world lessons learned, and pinpoints the most common mistakes. I designate Saturday as “cheat day” in all of my answers, but, in practice, you can substitute any day of the week. Chances are good that at least 50% of the questions in this chapter will come up for you at some point.

By surveying the biomarkers in your blood, Biophysical will detect medical conditions and diseases, including: cardiovascular disease, cancer (including breast, colon, liver, ovarian, prostate, and pancreatic), metabolic disorders (such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome), autoimmune disease (including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus), viral and bacterial diseases (such as mononucleosis and pneumonia), hormonal imbalance (including menopause, testosterone deficiency, and thyroid deficiency), and nutritional status (such as vitamin and protein deficiencies). End of Chapter Notes 1. If there is a range for cost, I have used the lower range for putting them in order. 2. Since I am not a woman, this test was found from a non-Hunter source: http://www.anylabtestnow.com/Tests/Female_Tests.aspx MUSCLES OF THE BODY (PARTIAL) THE VALUE OF SELF-EXPERIMENTATION All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. —Ralph Waldo Emerson It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong. —Richard Feynman This chapter was written by Dr. Seth Roberts, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of California–Berkeley and professor of psychology at Tsinghua University. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine and The Scientist, and he is on the editorial board of the journal Nutrition.


pages: 855 words: 178,507

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick

Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, bank run, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, butterfly effect, citation needed, Claude Shannon: information theory, clockwork universe, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, lifelogging, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microbiome, Milgram experiment, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, Simon Singh, Socratic dialogue, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, talking drums, the High Line, The Wisdom of Crowds, transcontinental railway, Turing machine, Turing test, women in the workforce

Babbage’s engine had not been well understood, not by his government and not by the many friends who passed through his salon, but in its time its influence traveled far. In America, a country bursting with invention and scientific optimism, Edgar Allan Poe wrote, “What shall we think of the calculating machine of Mr. Babbage? What shall we think of an engine of wood and metal which can … render the exactitude of its operations mathematically certain through its power of correcting its possible errors?”♦ Ralph Waldo Emerson had met Babbage in London and declared in 1870, “Steam is an apt scholar and a strong-shouldered fellow, but it has not yet done all its work.”♦ It already walks about the field like a man, and will do anything required of it. It irrigates crops, and drags away a mountain. It must sew our shirts, it must drive our gigs; taught by Mr. Babbage, it must calculate interest and logarithms.… It is yet coming to render many higher services of a mechanico-intellectual kind.

♦ “I DO NOT THINK YOU POSSESS HALF MY FORETHOUGHT”: Ada to Babbage, 30 July 1843, ibid., 157. ♦ “IT WOULD BE LIKE USING THE STEAM HAMMER”: H. P. Babbage, “The Analytical Engine,” 333. ♦ “WHAT SHALL WE THINK OF THE CALCULATING MACHINE”: “Maelzel’s Chess-Player,” in The Prose Tales of Edgar Allan Poe: Third Series (New York: A. C. Armstrong & Son, 1889), 230. ♦ “STEAM IS AN APT SCHOLAR”: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Society and Solitude (Boston: Fields, Osgood, 1870), 143. ♦ “WHAT A SATIRE IS THAT MACHINE”: Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1893), 11. ♦ “ONE OF THE MOST FASCINATING OF ARTS”: Charles Babbage, Passages from the Life of a Philosopher, 235. ♦ “EVERY SHOWER THAT FALLS”: “On the Age of Strata, as Inferred from the Rings of Trees Embedded in Them,” from Charles Babbage, The Ninth Bridgewater Treatise: A Fragment (London: John Murray, 1837), in Charles Babbage and His Calculating Engines, 368


pages: 201 words: 64,545

Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard

air freight, business process, clean water, Donald Trump, Doomsday Book, Mahatma Gandhi, pushing on a string, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rubik’s Cube, urban sprawl

Will the product be worn over other layers or against the skin? A product designed with a close fit for climbing may also be worn by snowboarders or skiers who want a looser fit. In that case, the climber, as the core customer for that product, wins (the snowboarder or casual use customer can size up if she or he wants to). Is It as Simple as Possible? Simplify, simplify. —H. D. THOREAU One “simplify” would have sufficed. —RALPH WALDO EMERSON, IN RESPONSE Koshun Miyamoto once complimented his fencing teacher’s wife on the beauty of her gravel garden, a square of coarse-grained sand, set off by three stones from a nearby stream that conveyed a “powerful, evocative image of space and balance.” The fencing teacher’s wife protested that the garden wasn’t complete and wouldn’t be until she could “express the same feeling it has now using only one stone instead of three.”


The Techno-Human Condition by Braden R. Allenby, Daniel R. Sarewitz

airport security, augmented reality, carbon footprint, clean water, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, decarbonisation, different worldview, facts on the ground, friendly fire, industrial cluster, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, Peter Singer: altruism, planetary scale, prediction markets, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, smart grid, source of truth, stem cell, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, Whole Earth Catalog

But the railroad did more than (substantially) create modern industrial capitalism, the modern firm, the modern communication network, the modern urban landscape, and the modern sense of time. (By "create," of course, we mean "significantly force the co-evolution of.") Particularly in the United States, the railroad became a symbol of national power, and, more subtly, instantiated and validated the American integration of religion, morality, and technology. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, and Daniel Webster were among those who-in an unconscious recapitulation of language and powerful cultural memes that we saw in Bacon centuries earlier and an ocean away, and now hear again in transhumanism-viewed railroads as evidence of human ascension to godlike power. In the early 1800s the Western Railroad in Massachusetts urged ministers to "take an early opportunity to deliver a Discourse on the Moral effect of Rail-Roads in our wide extended country."


pages: 297 words: 69,467

Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer

a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Albert Einstein, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, elephant in my pajamas, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Jane Jacobs, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, non-fiction novel, Norman Mailer, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

*1  This also applies to the temporal use of “just” and the difference between writing, say, “I almost just tripped on the stairs,” which sounds perfectly natural, and “I just almost tripped on the stairs,” which makes a bit more sense. If I’ve inspired you to give it an extra thought every time you’re about to write or say the words “only” and “just,” I feel I’ve done my job. *2  Copy editor’s addendum: “For me, it was candles ‘guttering’ and ‘tang’ used for smell; both were used so often in literary fiction, I’d begun to think they were handed out with the MFA.” *3  Also, in no particular order, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Voltaire, Mahatma Gandhi, and (impudently and absurdly, given how easily traceable every word he ever wrote is) William Shakespeare. *4  “The very existence of self-help books is all the evidence you need that they don’t work,” a former colleague of mine once quipped—perhaps more cleverly than truthfully, but the quip business is built more on rat-a-tat effectiveness than on strict accuracy


pages: 208 words: 69,863

Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

airport security, Bob Geldof, City Beautiful movement, desegregation, Frank Gehry, gun show loophole, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Upton Sinclair, white picket fence

But Booth adored Brown’s fight-picking, gun-toting methods. According to Booth’s sister, Asia, he said, “John Brown was a man inspired, the grandest character of the century!” Booth’s assessment was shared, based on the sermons preached in Brown’s honor after he died, the church bells that rang in his memory across the North, the tributes written for him by the likes of the revered three-named Yankee poets Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Julia Ward Howe (who said Brown’s martyrdom “would make the gallows glorious like the cross”), the fact that Union soldiers turned the marching song “John Brown’s Body” into one of the top-ten hits of the Civil War. So Booth isn’t entirely misguided in thinking he’d inspire a song or poem or two himself. I visited Charles Town with my aunt Fran and uncle Quenton.


pages: 208 words: 64,113

Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell

California gold rush, index card, Maui Hawaii, polynesian navigation, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Steve Jobs, trade route

The museum displays a replica of a forecastle, the dark, dirty sleeping quarters below deck. There men were shoehorned into grim little bunk beds infested with fleas and lice. As a sufferer of claustrophobia and seasickness, I can barely look at the creepy forecastle exhibit without dry-heaving. Most whaling ships were based out of New England, and most of those from New Bedford, Massachusetts, where, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “they hug an oil-cask like a brother.” I stopped by New Bedford on one of those perfect New England October days, when the sky is blue and the leaves are gilded and the air has that bracing autumnal bite so that all you want to do is bob for apples or hang a witch or something. I came to visit the New Bedford Whaling Museum, but really the whole town is a whaling museum. At the National Park Service’s visitor center I chatted with the volunteer manning the information booth.


pages: 187 words: 66,656

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

index card, Mason jar, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex

Many index cards on which I write in the middle of the night tend to be incoherent, like some incredibly bright math major thinking about oranges or truth while on LSD. Some contain great quotes that I share with my students, although I unfortunately often forget to write down whose quote it is. Like this one, for instance: "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us." Now, I’m almost positive Ralph Waldo Emerson said this, but with my luck some critic will point out that it was really Georgette Mosbacher. (Who was it that said, "A critic is someone who comes onto the battlefield after the battle is over and shoots the wounded"? I have it written on an index card somewhere....) Other cards just sort of live with me, in little piles and drifts. My son will probably have to deal with them someday, after my death.


pages: 226 words: 66,188

Adventures in Human Being (Wellcome) by Gavin Francis

Atul Gawande, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Ralph Waldo Emerson, stem cell, traveling salesman

Spitfire pilots who were shot down often ended up with acrylic shrapnel from the cockpit embedded in the eye, and surgeons noticed that it didn’t cause an inflammatory reaction. 3 Aldous Huxley reused the phrase in his Doors of Perception. His Eyeless in Gaza took its title from Milton’s drama Samson Agonistes, written twenty years after Milton lost his sight. 4 Face: Beautiful Palsy He sees the beauty of a human face, and searches for the cause of that beauty, which must be more beautiful. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Montaigne WHEN I WAS TAUGHT facial anatomy as a medical student most of the cadavers we dissected were those of old men with thick facial skin, stiffened by stubble. Their faces might have been tough as hide, but the muscles that lay immediately beneath that skin were fragile: delicate fronds of salmon pink laced through buttery subcutaneous fat. When trying to demonstrate the muscles that give expression to our faces I’d have to proceed with care; a slip of the scalpel and they’d be stripped off with the skin.


pages: 239 words: 69,496

The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return by Mihir Desai

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, assortative mating, Benoit Mandelbrot, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, carried interest, Charles Lindbergh, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial innovation, follow your passion, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, housing crisis, income inequality, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, Jony Ive, Kenneth Rogoff, longitudinal study, Louis Bachelier, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, new economy, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, Pierre-Simon Laplace, principal–agent problem, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, zero-sum game

Back in 1688, de la Vega highlighted precisely this virtue of options when he traced the etymology of “opsies” to the Latin “optio, which means choice,” and then further back to “optare, which means to wish.” Indeed, the “optative mood” is the Greek grammatical form, now lost, for expressing wishes. Purchasing options allows us to wish for outcomes and allows us to imagine what is possible and what might come true. This link between options and the desire to explore what is possible is precisely why Ralph Waldo Emerson called America “optative”—options are for people who want to imagine the outcomes that they desire. The most distinctive aspect of options is how their asymmetric nature makes them particularly valuable when environments become more risky. Because you have little to lose and much to gain, events that make outcomes more extreme are welcome. In other words, options, because they are a form of insurance, are more valuable when life becomes even more uncertain.


pages: 237 words: 69,985

The Longing for Less by Kyle Chayka

Airbnb, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, Mason jar, offshore financial centre, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, undersea cable, Whole Earth Catalog

Pursuing material satisfaction was a sign that a person had already fallen from grace, according to Francis: “When the soul finds no delight, what is left except for the flesh to look for some?” The United States has its own secular saint of asceticism in Henry David Thoreau, who famously retreated into the woods from 1845 to 1847 in order to find the joy of simplicity. More accurately, he moved to land owned by his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson on Walden Pond, a small body of water walkable of an evening from the town center of Concord, Massachusetts, where he grew up and where his mother’s cooking was still freely available whenever he felt like going back. As far as an escape from society, it seems more like a child running away from home and making it to the nearest street corner. In the rustic-chic cabin he built for himself Thoreau sought “to front only the essential facts6 of life,” as he wrote in Walden, “to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life.”


pages: 1,007 words: 181,911

The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life by Timothy Ferriss

Airbnb, Atul Gawande, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, Golden Gate Park, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, microbiome, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Pepto Bismol, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, Skype, spaced repetition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, the High Line, Y Combinator

Use the exact same process, but omit the spices and use 2 T ghee and a glug of EVOO instead of the coconut milk. LESSON 04 SKILLS STAR PEELER, SAUTÉ UNION SQUARE ZUCCHINI + VARIATION: SQUASH PAPPARDELLE - * * * “The greatest delight the fields and woods minister is the suggestion of an occult relation between man and the vegetable. I am not alone and unacknowledged. They nod to me and I to them.” —RALPH WALDO EMERSON * * * “You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.” —DOROTHY PARKER, WHEN CHALLENGED TO USE THE WORD HORTICULTURE IN A GAME OF “CAN-YOU-GIVE-ME-A-SENTENCE?” * * * This dish is named in honor of Joe Ades, but it was inspired by one of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Amsterdam students, while in Italy.‡ We make it faster by using the peeler in lieu of a knife, and we make it slow-carb with ghee in place of butter.

STALLING MANEUVERS: AIR SQUATS, WALL PRESSES, AND CHEST PULLS I aim for 30–50 repetitions of each of the following: - Air Squats - Wall Presses - Chest Pulls For everything imaginable related to physical performance and appearance enhancement, please consult The 4-Hour Body. Now, back to our regular 4-Hour Chef programming! THE BASICS: ELEMENTARY, MY DEAR WATSON… - * * * “As to methods, there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods.” — RALPH WALDO EMERSON * * * It’s helpful to think of cooking in two categories: texture changes (which typically happen below the boiling point of water) and chemical changes (which typically happen above the boiling point of water). It’s the chemical changes above 100°C (212°F) that change flavor. To get the benefits of both, you might cook a steak sous-vide, then sear it on a blistering hot grill, for instance.


pages: 1,104 words: 302,176

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) by Robert J. Gordon

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the sewing machine, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, undersea cable, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism, yield management

No other era in human history, either before or since, combined so many elements in which the standard of living increased as quickly and in which the human condition was transformed so completely. Chapter 9 TAKING AND MITIGATING RISKS: CONSUMER CREDIT, INSURANCE, AND THE GOVERNMENT Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. —Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1841 INTRODUCTION Household well-being depends not just on the level of income, but also on its volatility. This chapter is about institutions, particularly consumer credit and insurance, that allow the household to enjoy a standard of living that is less volatile over time. Consumer credit allows for the purchase of homes and consumer durables by spreading out payments over time and avoids the need to save the entire purchase price in advance.

“The State of the News Media 2013: An Annual Report on American Journalism: Newspapers: By the Numbers,” Pew Research Center, May 7. Eisner, Robert. (1989). The Total Incomes System of Accounts. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Ellis, David Maldwyn. (1945). “Railroad Land Grant Rates, 1850–1945,” The Journal of Land and Public Utility Economics 21, no. 3 (August): 207–22. Emerson, Ralph Waldo. (1841). The Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson, vol. V 1838–41. Boston: Houghton Mifflin (published in 1911). Emmet, Boris, and Jeuck, John E. (1950). Catalogs and Counters: A History of Sears, Roebuck and Company. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Engerman, Stanley L., and Gallman, Robert E., eds. (2000a). The Cambridge Economic History of the United States, Vol. II: The Long Nineteenth Century. Cambridge, UK/New York: Cambridge University Press .

Reprinted with permission of Johns Hopkins University Press. Chapter 8: Working Conditions on the Job and at Home Harvey Greene, excerpts from The Uncertainty of Everyday Life, 1915-1945. Copyright © 1992 by Harvey Green. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of the Univeristy of Arkansas Press, www.uapress.com. Chapter 9: Taking and Mitigating Risks Emerson, Ralph Waldo. (1841). The Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson, vol. V 1838–41. Boston: Houghton Mifflin (published in 1911). Chapter 10: Fast Food, Synthetic Fibers, and Split-Level Subdivisions Rybczynski, Witold. (1995). “How to Build a Suburb,” The Wilson Quarterly 19, no. 3 (summer): 114–26. Chapter 11: See the USA in Your Chevrolet or from a Plane Flying High Above Music by Leon Carr, Words by Leo Corday, Copyright © 1948 (Renewed) by Music Sales Corporation and Fred Ahlert Music Corp., International Copyright Secured.


pages: 2,323 words: 550,739

1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die, Updated Ed. by Patricia Schultz

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bretton Woods, Burning Man, California gold rush, car-free, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, Donald Trump, East Village, El Camino Real, estate planning, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Guggenheim Bilbao, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Mars Rover, Mason jar, Maui Hawaii, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murano, Venice glass, Nelson Mandela, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, out of africa, Pepto Bismol, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, sexual politics, South of Market, San Francisco, The Chicago School, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, wage slave, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, éminence grise

One of the trail’s principal sites is Concord’s North Bridge, where 500 colonial soldiers surprised the British redcoats. A replica of the trestle bridge over the narrow Concord River is part of the park, which also preserves the Wayside, home of Nathaniel Hawthorne, built in 1688. The Wayside is but a glimpse of Concord’s great literary legacy. The Orchard House, inspiration of Little Women and home of its author, Louisa May Alcott, and the prosperous-looking home of philosopher-poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, are, like Hawthorne’s, open for tours (many of the town’s literary and revolutionary artifacts have been gathered at the impressive Concord Museum across the way). At the height of their fame in the mid-19th century, Concord was a center of Transcendentalism, a philosophical movement that looked to the simplicity of the natural world for guidance. Under the shade of ancient trees in this writers’ neighborhood is the late 19th-century Hawthorne Inn, a welcoming and romantic B&B with just seven guest rooms.

When: closed Nov–mid-Apr. MINUTE MAN NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK: Tel 978-369-6993. When: North Bridge center daily, year-round; Minute Man center closed Dec–Mar. CONCORD: 19 miles northwest of Boston. Visitor info: Tel 978-369-3120; www.concordchamberofcommerce.org. THE WAYSIDE: Tel 978-369-6975; www.nps.gov/archive/mima/wayside. When: closed Nov–Apr. ORCHARD HOUSE: Tel 978-369-4118; www.louisamayalcott.org. RALPH WALDO EMERSON HOUSE: Tel 978-369-2236. When: closed Nov–mid-Apr and Mon–Wed year-round. HAWTHORNE INN: Tel 978-369-5610; www.concordmass.com. Cost: from $125 (off-peak), from $250 (peak). LONGFELLOW’S WAYSIDE INN: Tel 800-339-1776 or 978-443-1776; www.wayside.org. Cost: from $125; dinner $25. WALDEN POND STATE RESERVATION: Tel 978-369-3254; www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/walden. BEST TIMES: Patriots Day (3rd Mon in Apr) for battle reen-actments and commemorations; Sept–mid-Oct for foliage, especially lovely at Walden Pond.

., 60 Margaret Mitchell House, Ga., 336 Miss Molly’s Inn, Va., 242 Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Mont., 624–25 Montana Festival of the Book, Mont., 626–27 Moravian Bookshop, Pa., 208 Mount, The, Mass., 52 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Nev., 726 Naulakha, Vt., 95 Off Square Books, Miss., 444 Orchard House, Mass., 58 Oxford, Miss., 444–45 Oz Museum, Kans., 609 Poetry Nature Trail, N.H., 71 Ralph Waldo Emerson House, Mass., 58 Robert Frost Farm, N.H., 71 Robert Frost Trail, N.H., 71 Square Books, Miss., 444 Steinbeck Center, Calif., 831 Sunnyside, N.Y., 155 Toadstool Bookshop, N.H., 77 Twain, Mark Hannibal, Mo., 12, 449–50 Mark Twain Boyhood Home, Mo., 449 Mark Twain Cave, Mo., 449 Mark Twain Days, Calif., 809 Mark Twain House and Museum, Conn., 12–13 Mark Twain Museum & Gallery, Mo., 449 National Tom Sawyer Days, Mo., 449 Walden Pond, Mass., 58 Wayside (house), Mass., 58 Wayside Inn, Mass., 58 Widener Library, Mass., 47 Yaddo, N.Y., 203 MUSEUMS Alaska & Hawaii Bishop Museum, Hawaii, 960–61, 963 Lahaina Heritage Museum, Hawaii, 957 Lyman Museum & Mission House, Hawaii, 929 Mission Houses Museum, Hawaii, 963 Pacific Tsunami Museum, Hawaii, 929 Sheldon Jackson Museum of Native Arts, Alaska, 924 Canada Art Gallery of Ontario, Ont., 1004–5 Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, N.S., 992 Heritage Museum, N.L., 982 Highland Village Museum, N.S., 988 Mackenzie Art Gallery, Sask., 1070 Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, N.S., 991 Museum of Anthropology, B.C., 1048–49 Royal British Columbia Museum, B.C., 1061 Royal Ontario Museum, Ont., 1006–7 Royal Tyrrell Museum, Alta., 1030–31 Vancouver Art Gallery, B.C., 1053 Four Corners and the Southwest African-American Museum, Tex., 766 Age of Steam Museum, Tex., 766 American Cowboy Museum, Colo., 708 Amon Carter Museum, Tex., 767 Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, N.Mex., 736 Argo Gold Mine, Mill and Museum, Colo., 715 Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Ariz., 700 Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, Nev., 731 Bradbury Science Museum, N.Mex., 743 Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave, Colo., 715 Charlotte Hall Museum, Ariz., 693 Colorado Ski Museum, Colo., 724 Crow Collection of Asian Art, Tex., 763 Dallas Museum of Art, Tex., 763 Denver Art Museum, Colo., 710–11 Desert Caballeros Western Museum, Ariz., 702 Dinosaur Museum, N.Mex., 746 Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Tex., 767 Frontier Times Museum Living History Project, Tex., 759 Gallery at Wynn Las Vegas, Nev., 731 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, N.Mex., 750 Heard Museum, Ariz., 682, 690–91 Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market, Ariz., 691 Heard Museum North, Ariz., 691 Houston’s Art Museums, Tex., 773–74 International UFO Museum and Research Center, N.Mex., 745 Kimbell Art Museum, Tex., 766 King Ranch Museum, Tex., 786 Las Vegas Art Museum, Nev., 731 Liberace Museum, Nev., 731 Long Barrack Museum, Tex., 782 Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, Tex., 787 Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Tex., 766 Museum Club, Ariz., 684 Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Tex., 774 Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, N.Mex., 747 Museum of International Folk Art, N.Mex., 747 Museum of Northern Arizona, Ariz., 684 National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, Tex., 767 Navajo Museum, Ariz., 690 Nevada Museum of Art, Nev., 734 O.


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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

—BUDDHA Tweets to Live By • “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” —George Bernard Shaw • “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” —H. S. Truman • “We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” —Carlos Castaneda • “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson Appendix: Online Resources Web site for this book: http://www.deliveringhappinessbook.com Additional stories for which we didn’t have room in the book: http://www.deliveringhappinessbook.com/stories Book recommendations: http://www.deliveringhappinessbook.com/books Zappos core values: http://www.deliveringhappinessbook.com/zappos-core-values How to create committable core values for your organization: http://www.deliveringhappinessbook.com/core-values “How Twitter Can Make You a Better and Happier Person”: http://www.deliveringhappinessbook.com/twitter-better Follow me on Twitter (@zappos): http://twitter.com/zappos Public mentions of Zappos and our employees’ tweets: http://twitter.zappos.com Photos and videos of Zappos culture: http://blogs.zappos.com More information about Zappos: http://about.zappos.com Zappos Insights video subscription service for entrepreneurs and businesses: http://www.zapposinsights.com Zappos job opportunities: http://jobs.zappos.com Culture book (please include physical mailing address): ceo@zappos.com Tours of Zappos headquarters in Las Vegas: http://tours.zappos.com Recognized as one of the world’s most prestigious business imprints, Business Plus specializes in publishing books that are on the cutting edge.


pages: 248 words: 72,174

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau

Airbnb, big-box store, clean water, fixed income, follow your passion, if you build it, they will come, index card, informal economy, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, late fees, Nelson Mandela, price anchoring, Ralph Waldo Emerson, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, web application

Always focus on what you can add or take away to improve someone’s life … and then prepare to get paid. *See the “Fish Stories” appendix at the back of the book for twenty-five more examples of how to reframe a descriptive concept as a benefit-driven story. GET PAID TO DO WHAT YOU LOVE BY MAKING SURE IT CONNECTS TO WHAT OTHER PEOPLE WANT. “Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring.” —RALPH WALDO EMERSON Like many of us, Gary Leff begins his day with email. As a CFO for two university research centers in northern Virginia, he’s in touch with colleagues from morning to night. It’s a good job that he enjoys, and he has no plans to leave. But the “early early” morning email traffic comes from another source: Gary’s part-time business as a specific kind of consultant. Like me, Gary is an active “travel hacker,” earning hundreds of thousands of frequent flyer miles every year through various airline promotions.


pages: 272 words: 76,089

Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium by Carl Sagan

addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, clean water, cosmic abundance, dark matter, demographic transition, Exxon Valdez, F. W. de Klerk, germ theory of disease, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invention of radio, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, pattern recognition, planetary scale, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, stem cell, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, zero-sum game

[Tjhere always remain in the abyss of things slumbering parts which have yet to be awakened GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, On the Ultimate Origination ofThings (1697) Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other. It undergoes continual changes; it is barbarous, it is civilized, it is christianized, it is rich, it is scientific; but. . . for everything that is given something is taken. RALPH WALDO EMERSON, "Self-Reliance," Essays: First Series (1841) twentieth century will be remembered for three broad JL innovations: unprecedented means to save, prolong, and 246 • Billions and Billions enhance life; unprecedented means to destroy life, including for the first time putting our global civilization at risk; and unprecedented insights into the nature of ourselves and the Universe. All three of these developments have been brought forth by science and technology, a sword with two razor-sharp edges.


pages: 280 words: 75,820

Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life by Winifred Gallagher

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Build a better mousetrap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, epigenetics, Frank Gehry, fundamental attribution error, Isaac Newton, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, music of the spheres, Nelson Mandela, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game

The focused life requires not just a robust capacity for paying attention but also the discerning choice of targets that will invite the best possible experience. Much is made of the fact that human beings are the only creatures to know that we must die, but we’re also the only ones to know that we must find something engaging to focus on in order to pass the time—increasingly, a lot of time. As Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was William James’s godfather, put it, “To fill the hour—that is happiness.” Deciding what to pay attention to for this hour, day, week, or year, much less a lifetime, is a peculiarly human predicament, and your quality of life largely depends on how you handle it. Moses got his focus from God, and Picasso from his nearly supernatural creativity. We have other motivations and gifts, and most of us have to go through a more complicated process to find the right things to focus on.


pages: 290 words: 72,046

5 Day Weekend: Freedom to Make Your Life and Work Rich With Purpose by Nik Halik, Garrett B. Gunderson

Airbnb, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, business process, clean water, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, delayed gratification, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, estate planning, Ethereum, fear of failure, fiat currency, financial independence, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, Home mortgage interest deduction, Isaac Newton, litecoin, Lyft, market fundamentalism, microcredit, minimum viable product, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Nelson Mandela, passive income, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, side project, Skype, TaskRabbit, traveling salesman, uber lyft

I even get the opportunity to speak in remote locations most foreigners would simply never visit. Just recently, I spoke in the communist “hermit kingdom” of North Korea and taught geography to a classroom of teenagers about to graduate. I have conducted an entrepreneurial mastermind seminar to more than 750 investors and business owners in Tehran, Iran. “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” —ralph waldo emerson It’s Time to Live Your Dreams My adventurous life has not happened because I was born into wealth. Lacking a wealthy friend such as Tintin’s Captain Haddock, I realized that if I wanted to become an adventurer like Tintin, I would need to develop multiple pillars of income in order to afford such a lifestyle. I wasn’t born rich — but I was born rich in human potential. My life by design was never coincidental or lucky.


pages: 273 words: 21,102

Branding Your Business: Promoting Your Business, Attracting Customers and Standing Out in the Market Place by James Hammond

Albert Einstein, call centre, Donald Trump, intangible asset, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, market design, Nelson Mandela, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Steve Jobs, the market place

We’ve all read the unbelievable company mission statements, engraved on a wall plaque in a corridor or reception area somewhere, that make all kinds of attractive claims yet attract only dust and spider’s webs. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you have to walk the talk, and nowhere is it more critical than in your BrandMe™ story. Be honest and transparent, or they’ll know for sure. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying.’ Don’t make the mistake of not being genuine. YOUR BUSINESSBRAND™ STORY Usage: A powerful way to establish an emotional connection with customers. Can be incorporated into sales presentations, business plans and proposals, as well as collateral material. 226 Communicating your brand Now we extend the personal brand aspects into your business.


pages: 290 words: 75,973

The Cloudspotter's Guide by Gavin Pretor-Pinney

Albert Einstein, haute couture, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Lao Tzu, Ralph Waldo Emerson

BACK AT PAUL AND AMANDA’S, over a celebratory dinner of Barramundi fish, washed down with the amber nectar, I explained to the collected pilots that I had recently founded The Cloud Appreciation Society. Like a B-list actor promoting his latest film, I launched into a well-rehearsed speech in defense of our fluffy friends. Life would be dull, I declared, had we nothing but blue monotony to look at, day after day. I mentioned how Ralph Waldo Emerson, the American essayist, described the sky as ‘the daily bread of the eyes…the ultimate art gallery above.’ 4 And that the society therefore stands in opposition to ‘blue-sky thinking’ wherever we find it. Clouds are the face of the atmosphere, I proclaimed, enthusing on their ability to express its moods and communicate the invisible architecture of its currents. And then–as I was moving on to the part about the clouds being nature’s poetry–I caught the glint, once again, of Geoff Pratt’s gold tooth.


pages: 261 words: 71,349

The Introvert Entrepreneur: Amplify Your Strengths and Create Success on Your Own Terms by Beth Buelow

fear of failure, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Skype, Tony Hsieh

It’s not that we aren’t influenced by our environment or the people around us; we simply take in the information and put it through our own filters rather than taking it at face value. We carry our safety, our values, and our energy around inside of us, which contributes to an unmistakable quality of independence and self-reliance. My guess is that whoever coined the phrase “If you want it done right, do it yourself” was an introvert! Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” essay includes numerous statements about the virtues of this introvert tendency. Here’s one example: “It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” Self-Possessed The self-possessed superpower goes hand in hand with self-reliance.


pages: 244 words: 78,884

Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life by Ken Robinson, Lou Aronica

fear of failure, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, haute cuisine, invisible hand, Ralph Waldo Emerson, science of happiness, Silicon Valley

Reflecting on his own life and achievements he had this advice: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” We’re all shaped to some degree by our own biographies and cultures and it’s easy to believe that what’s happened before determines what has to come next. The American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson thought otherwise. “What lies behind us,” he wrote, “and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Finding your Element is about discovering what lies within you and, in doing so, transforming what lies before you. “Risk” is a short poem often attributed to the writer Anais Nin. It uses a powerful, organic metaphor to contrast the risks of suppressing your potential with the rewards of releasing it: And then the day came, when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.


pages: 670 words: 194,502

The Intelligent Investor (Collins Business Essentials) by Benjamin Graham, Jason Zweig

3Com Palm IPO, accounting loophole / creative accounting, air freight, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, business cycle, buy and hold, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, corporate governance, corporate raider, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversified portfolio, dogs of the Dow, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, George Santayana, hiring and firing, index fund, intangible asset, Isaac Newton, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, merger arbitrage, money market fund, new economy, passive investing, price stability, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, the market place, the rule of 72, transaction costs, tulip mania, VA Linux, Vanguard fund, Y2K, Yogi Berra

It would appear that either the directors had made a great mistake in turning down that opportunity or the shares of Kayser-Roth were now badly undervalued in the market. Something for a security analyst to look into. Commentary on Chapter 15 It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. —Ralph Waldo Emerson Practice, Practice, Practice Max Heine, founder of the Mutual Series Funds, liked to say that “there are many roads to Jerusalem.” What this masterly stock picker meant was that his own value-centered method of selecting stocks was not the only way to be a successful investor. In this chapter we’ll look at several techniques that some of today’s leading money managers use for picking stocks.

See also “earning power”; per-share earnings; price/earnings ratio; specific company or type of security earnings-covered test Eastman Kodak Co. EDGAR database Edison Electric Light Co. Edward VII (king of Great Britain), “efficient markets hypothesis” (EMH) Electric Autolite Co. Electronic Data Systems electronics industry Elias, David Ellis, Charles ELTRA Corp. EMC Corp. emerging-market nations Emerson, Ralph Waldo Emerson Electric Co. Emery Air Freight Emhart Corp. employee-purchase plans employees: stock options for. See also managers/management endowment funds “enhancing shareholder value,” Enron Corp. enterprising investors. See aggressive investors EPS. See per-share earnings Erie Railroad ethics eToys Inc. Eversharp Co. exchange-traded index funds (ETFs) Exodus Communications, Inc., Expeditors International of Washington, Inc.


pages: 691 words: 203,236

Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities by Eric Kaufmann

4chan, affirmative action, Amazon Mechanical Turk, anti-communist, anti-globalists, augmented reality, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, Chelsea Manning, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Haight Ashbury, illegal immigration, immigration reform, imperial preference, income inequality, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, liberal capitalism, longitudinal study, Lyft, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Nate Silver, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, open borders, phenotype, postnationalism / post nation state, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steven Pinker, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transcontinental railway, twin studies, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, white flight, working-age population, World Values Survey, young professional

Projections reveal that faster immigration may slow the process by bringing in racially unmixed individuals, but in a century those of mixed-race will be the largest group in countries like Britain and America. In two centuries, few people living in urban areas of the West will have an unmixed racial background. Most who do will be immigrants or members of anti-modern religious groups like the ultra-Orthodox Jews. The reflex is to think of this futuristically, as bringing forth increased diversity, or the advent of a ‘new man’, much as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Israel Zangwill or Time magazine predicted for the United States.1 But, if history is our guide, things are likely to turn out quite differently. Many people desire roots, value tradition and wish to maintain continuity with ancestors who have occupied a historic territory. This means we’re more likely to experience what I term Whiteshift, a process by which white majorities absorb an admixture of different peoples through intermarriage, but remain oriented around existing myths of descent, symbols and traditions.

Americans welcomed immigration to grow the country, and could wax lyrical about the US as a ‘new’ nation made up of various European peoples. At the same time, they considered themselves more Protestant and Anglo-Saxon than Britain. So Jefferson could affirm both the asylum and Anglo-Saxon traditions without cognitive dissonance. Here is the great American liberal philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson, writing in 1846 about the US as ‘The asylum of all nations … the energy of Irish, Germans, Swedes, Poles and Cossacks, and all the European tribes, of the Africans and Polynesians, will construct a new race … as vigorous as the new Europe which came out of the smelting pot of the Dark Ages.’11 And around the same time he declared: It cannot be maintained by any candid person that the African race have ever occupied or do promise ever to occupy any very high place in the human family … The Irish cannot; the American Indian cannot; the Chinese cannot.


pages: 716 words: 192,143

The Enlightened Capitalists by James O'Toole

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, business cycle, business process, California gold rush, carbon footprint, City Beautiful movement, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, desegregation, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, end world poverty, equal pay for equal work, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, garden city movement, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, God and Mammon, greed is good, hiring and firing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inventory management, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lao Tzu, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, means of production, Menlo Park, North Sea oil, passive investing, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Socratic dialogue, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, stocks for the long run, stocks for the long term, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, traveling salesman, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, Vanguard fund, white flight, women in the workforce, young professional

The mills, company store, workers’ houses, and the Owens’ modest first home have been restored to how they looked in the early 1820s. A few of the original water-propelled spinning mules have been returned to working order, and the mills now produce a small quantity of Scottish wool for sale to the thousands of tourists who visit New Lanark’s idyllic setting on the banks of the river Clyde in what has become a beautiful nature preserve. But long before that happened, Owen had died a defeated man. In Owen’s old age, Ralph Waldo Emerson asked him, “Who is your disciple? How many men possessed of your views will remain after you to put them into practice?” Owen answered, sadly, “Not one.”50 He was right at the time, but were he alive today, he doubtless would be pleased to learn that the practices he pioneered at New Lanark had been adopted, in one form or another, in several successful businesses founded in Britain and America over the next century and a half.

Fraser, “Robert Owen and the Workers,” in Butt, Robert Owen, 13. 40.Morton, Life and Ideas of Robert Owen, 232–35. 41.Owen, Life of Robert Owen, 157. 42.Heilbroner, Worldly Philosophers, 112. 43.G. D. H. Cole, Robert Owen, xiii–xiv. 44.R. H. Tawney, The Radical Tradition (New York: Minerva, 1964), 37–38. 45.Owen, Threading My Way, 201. 46.Podmore, Robert Owen, 325. 47.Bob Blaisdell, The Communist Manifesto and Other Revolutionary Writings (Mineola, NY: Dover, 2003), 101. 48.Owen, Threading My Way, 291. 49.McCabe, Robert Owen, 119. 50.The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, vol. 10 (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1904), 347. Chapter 2: Man with a Thousand Partners: James Cash Penney (1875–1971) 1.Norman Beasley, Main Street Merchant: The Story of the J. C. Penney Company (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1948), 8. 2.J. C. Penney, Fifty Years with the Golden Rule (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1950), 24. 3.Penney, 25. 4.Penney, 26. 5.Mary E. Curry, Creating an American Institution: The Merchandising Genius of J.


pages: 142 words: 18,753

Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There by David Brooks

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Community Supported Agriculture, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, haute couture, haute cuisine, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Bork, Silicon Valley, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban planning, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra

The American antimaterialists didn’t seek to build a counterculture of urban rebels. They sought their alternative to the industrial economy amidst nature, in the simple life. Their aesthetic was more naturalist than artistic. Richard Hofstadter called transcendentalism “the evangelicalism of the highbrows” because the transcendentalists always had enormous influence on the educated classes. They were mostly New England thinkers, writers, and reformers, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Bronson Alcott, and Margaret Fuller. They got their name because their goal was to transcend materialism and rationalism and so penetrate the inner spirituality that was at the core of each person. They began with the conviction, expressed by William Channing, that “there is something greater within [each individual] than in the whole material creation, than in all the worlds which press on the eye and ear; and that inward improvements have a worth and dignity in themselves.”


pages: 273 words: 83,186

The botany of desire: a plant's-eye view of the world by Michael Pollan

back-to-the-land, clean water, David Attenborough, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Francisco Pizarro, invention of agriculture, Joseph Schumpeter, mandatory minimum, Maui Hawaii, means of production, paper trading, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Steven Pinker

Evidently the oak has such a satisfactory arrangement with the squirrel—which obligingly forgets where it has buried every fourth acorn or so (admittedly, the estimate is Beatrix Potter’s)—that the tree has never needed to enter into any kind of formal arrangement with us. The apple has been far more eager to do business with humans, and perhaps nowhere more so than in America. Like generations of other immigrants before and after, the apple has made itself at home here. In fact, the apple did such a convincing job of this that most of us wrongly assume the plant is a native. (Even Ralph Waldo Emerson, who knew a thing or two about natural history, called it “the American fruit.”) Yet there is a sense—a biological, not just metaphorical sense—in which this is, or has become, true, for the apple transformed itself when it came to America. Bringing boatloads of seed onto the frontier, Johnny Appleseed had a lot to do with that process, but so did the apple itself. No mere passenger or dependent, the apple is the hero of its own story


pages: 300 words: 79,315

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

Albert Einstein, asset allocation, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, Everything should be made as simple as possible, George Santayana, index card, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex

As Peter Drucker has written, “In knowledge work . . . the task is not given; it has to be determined. ‘What are the expected results from this work?’ is . . . the key question in making knowledge workers productive. And it is a question that demands risky decisions. There is usually no right answer; there are choices instead. And results have to be clearly specified, if productivity is to be achieved.” The ancestor of every action is a thought. —Ralph Waldo Emerson Most people have a resistance to initiating the burst of energy that it will take to clarify the real meaning, for them, of something they have let into their world, and to decide what they need to do about it. We’re never really taught that we have to think about our work before we can do it; much of our daily activity is already defined for us by the undone and unmoved things staring at us when we come to work, or by the family to be fed, the laundry to be done, or the children to be dressed at home.


pages: 279 words: 87,910

How Much Is Enough?: Money and the Good Life by Robert Skidelsky, Edward Skidelsky

"Robert Solow", banking crisis, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Bonfire of the Vanities, call centre, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Paul Samuelson, profit motive, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, union organizing, University of East Anglia, Veblen good, wage slave, wealth creators, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

The nineteenth-century American economist H. C. Carey was voicing the common sense of his age when he described the earth as “a great machine, given to man to be fashioned to his purpose.”19 The Baconian project and its industrial aftermath provoked an impassioned reaction from poets and writers. Wordsworth’s protest against the rape of nature was taken up by John Ruskin and William Morris in England, Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson in America and numerous others. What moved these writers was not any scientific theory of pollution or resource depletion but a primal, semi-pagan sense of nature as sacred and a corresponding horror of human meddling. “All is seared with trade, bleared, smeared with toil,” wrote Gerard Manley Hopkins, contemplating the effects of man’s activity on the earth. This disgust was directed as much against farming as it was against industry.


pages: 369 words: 80,355

Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room by David Weinberger

airport security, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, book scanning, Cass Sunstein, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, David Brooks, Debian, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, future of journalism, Galaxy Zoo, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, invention of the telegraph, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, linked data, Netflix Prize, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, openstreetmap, P = NP, Pluto: dwarf planet, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, slashdot, social graph, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

31 Thoreau chirruped. A new fact had been uncovered: This particular bird was a gull. Thoreau’s fact is in the fact’s most basic form: Some this is a that. Yet Thoreau’s identification of that bird wasn’t the sort of fact that does the heavy-lifting of knowledge. It did not advance our knowledge of gulls, of wings, or even of spots in any appreciable way. Thoreau was not that ambitious. As Ralph Waldo Emerson lamented in his eulogy of his friend, “instead of engineering for all America, he was the captain of a huckleberry party.”32 While Thoreau was picking huckleberries, Charles Darwin was spending seven years intently exploring the small world of Cirripedia—barnacles. The two resulting dry and difficult volumes—so little like his masterful On the Origin of Species published just a few years later in 1859—are careful recitations of facts that together describe the little creatures in unrelenting detail.


The Supermen: The Story of Seymour Cray and the Technical Wizards Behind the Supercomputer by Charles J. Murray

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, fear of failure, John von Neumann, lateral thinking, pattern recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley

They were, however, the most prominent individuals in the industry's history. And their contri- butions will be remembered after the illusory line between super- computing and the rest of the industry has long since disap- peared. APril 5, 1996 / VII If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor, though he build his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door. -RALPH WALDO EMERSON, 1871 Thank heaven for start-up companies or we'd never make any progress. People who get unhappy with structure in compa- nies can move on and start their own, take big risks and occa- sionally find the pot of gold. I think that's just wonderful. -SEYMOUR R. CRAY, 1994 PROLOGUE . . . . . . . . . . . At the Crossroads On a sunny spring day in 1989, Steve Nelson looked up from his desk to see his company's founder leaning quietly against his of- fice door.


pages: 266 words: 87,411

The Slow Fix: Solve Problems, Work Smarter, and Live Better in a World Addicted to Speed by Carl Honore

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Broken windows theory, call centre, Checklist Manifesto, clean water, clockwatching, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Dava Sobel, delayed gratification, drone strike, Enrique Peñalosa, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Exxon Valdez, fundamental attribution error, game design, income inequality, index card, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, lateral thinking, lone genius, medical malpractice, microcredit, Netflix Prize, planetary scale, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, ultimatum game, urban renewal, War on Poverty

“The secret lies in striking the right balance,” says David Edwards. “The group is crucial for developing and improving ideas, but often the best ideas start with a single person. The individual is supremely important.” CHAPTER TEN CATALYZE: First among Equals Every great institution is the lengthened shadow of a single man. His character determines the character of the organization. Ralph Waldo Emerson Rush hour in Bogotá is not what it used to be. At least not for people like Manuel Ortega. These days, the 42-year-old banker commutes from the suburbs on a bus that has helped turn the Colombian capital into a darling of the green movement and a case study in urban renewal. The TransMilenio is no ordinary transport network. In the middle of its widest boulevards, Bogotá has carved out nine dedicated bus lanes that crisscross the city like an overground rail network.


pages: 324 words: 86,056

The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality by Bhaskar Sunkara

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, collective bargaining, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Donald Trump, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, Ferguson, Missouri, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gunnar Myrdal, happiness index / gross national happiness, Honoré de Balzac, income inequality, inventory management, labor-force participation, land reform, land value tax, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, new economy, Occupy movement, postindustrial economy, precariat, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, We are the 99%

Robert Owen, a Welsh former industrialist, founded a community he called New Harmony in southwest Indiana in 1827. He even described his ideals of communal living to a session of Congress attended by outgoing president James Monroe and the newly elected John Quincy Adams. The “terrestrial paradise” Owen sought to build was continually reorganized over the following years, and he soon had to admit defeat and return to the United Kingdom. Followers of Charles Fourier—Nathaniel Hawthorne and Ralph Waldo Emerson among them—made their own attempts at communes a decade later, with similar results. After the 1848 Revolutions in Europe, “scientific socialism” was introduced to the United States by German refugees. Joseph Weydemeyer was one notable example. A former Prussian artillery officer turned committed Marxist, he fled to America in 1851. He worked as a journalist for the German-language press and wrote perceptive analyses of American capitalism.


pages: 275 words: 84,980

Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin: From Money That We Understand to Money That Understands Us (Perspectives) by David Birch

agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, bank run, banks create money, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, business cycle, capital controls, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, creative destruction, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double entry bookkeeping, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial exclusion, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, index card, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Irish bank strikes, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, large denomination, M-Pesa, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, Northern Rock, Pingit, prediction markets, price stability, QR code, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Real Time Gross Settlement, reserve currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, social graph, special drawing rights, technoutopianism, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, wage slave, Washington Consensus, wikimedia commons

In my book Identity Is the New Money I wrote in similar vein that there is a mismatch between that mentality and a new, post-industrial economy with a different technological basis for money and that in a generation or so there will be a completely new set of monetary arrangements in place. Whether you think of it as money with a memory or programmable money or smart money or whatever, understanding the money of the future means a new mental model. Chapter 12 Seeds of the future The value of the dollar is social, as it is created by society. — Ralph Waldo Emerson in The Conduct of Life (1860) Money is nothing more than bits; we will have a cashless economy and all money will be digital money. What does this mean for the future? I will begin by observing that talk of ‘digital money’ can be confusing. Almost all money has existed only in computers for some time, so we need to clarify before we move on. My working definitions are as set out in table 4.


pages: 281 words: 79,464

Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion by Paul Bloom

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Atul Gawande, Columbine, David Brooks, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Ferguson, Missouri, impulse control, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Paul Erdős, period drama, Peter Singer: altruism, publication bias, Ralph Waldo Emerson, replication crisis, Ronald Reagan, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Walter Mischel, Yogi Berra

These broader patterns of approval and disapproval correspond to where people place themselves on a left-right scale, liberal (or progressive) versus conservative. If you want to know people’s views, then, a perfectly good question is “Are you liberal or conservative?” Indeed, some believe that a political continuum from left to right might be universal. John Stuart Mill pointed out that political systems have “a party of order or stability and a party of progress or reform.” Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that “the two parties which divide the state, the party of conservatism and that of innovation, are very old, and have disputed the possession of the world ever since it was made,” and he went on to conclude that such “irreconcilable antagonism must have a correspondent depth of seat in the human condition.” This antagonism is stronger with social issues. Our political natures seem to manifest themselves most clearly with, as one set of scholars put it, “matters of reproduction, relations with out-groups, suitable punishment for in-group miscreants, and traditional/innovative lifestyles.”


pages: 290 words: 82,871

The Hidden Half: How the World Conceals Its Secrets by Michael Blastland

air freight, Alfred Russel Wallace, banking crisis, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, central bank independence, cognitive bias, complexity theory, Deng Xiaoping, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, epigenetics, experimental subject, full employment, George Santayana, hindsight bias, income inequality, manufacturing employment, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum wage unemployment, nudge unit, oil shock, p-value, personalized medicine, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, randomized controlled trial, replication crisis, Richard Thaler, selection bias, the map is not the territory, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, twin studies

One of the fiercest arguments is over the relationship between consistency and rationality: in order to be rational, do we also have to be at some level consistent? I am not about to settle the argument to anyone’s satisfaction. Though I will say this: consistency can be over-rated. For example, as the economist John Kay pointed out, you can be consistent in believing there are fairies at the bottom of the garden.6 Consistency alone can be a measure of insanity. John quotes approvingly Ralph Waldo Emerson’s line: ‘Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen, philosophers and divines.’7 The point here is that consistency, far from being a necessary measure of rationality, might not even be desirable. I’m fond of an observation by Duncan Watts, a sociologist and now principal researcher for Microsoft, that the aphorisms we use to guide us are often contradictory.


pages: 287 words: 81,014

The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism by Olivia Fox Cabane

airport security, cognitive dissonance, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, hedonic treadmill, Lao Tzu, Nelson Mandela, Parkinson's law, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, risk tolerance, social intelligence, Steve Jobs

One client called visualization techniques “real-life Jedi mind tricks.” Another told me that while he’d always used visualization techniques in sports and music, he had never thought to apply the same techniques to business and daily life and was astounded at the results (and kicking himself for not having thought of it sooner). Nineteenth-century author Napoleon Hill would regularly visualize nine famous men as his personal counselors, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Edison, Charles Darwin, and Abraham Lincoln. He wrote: “Every night… I held an imaginary council meeting with this group whom I called my ‘Invisible Counselors.’… I now go to my imaginary counselors with every difficult problem that confronts me and my clients. The results are often astonishing.” Choose your own counselors according to which emotions they embody for you. Hill’s chosen self-confidence counselor was Napoleon Bonaparte.


pages: 308 words: 84,713

The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr

Airbnb, Airbus A320, Andy Kessler, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, Bernard Ziegler, business process, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, computerized trading, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, digital map, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, High speed trading, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, turn-by-turn navigation, US Airways Flight 1549, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Langewiesche

,” Mother Jones, May/June 2013. 31.Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The Communist Manifesto (New York: Verso, 1998), 43. 32.Anonymous, “Slaves to the Smartphone,” Economist, March 10, 2012. 33.Kevin Kelly, “What Technology Wants,” Cool Tools, October 18, 2010, kk.org/cooltools/archives/4749. 34.George Packer, “No Death, No Taxes,” New Yorker, November 28, 2011. 35.Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 4–5. 36.Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (New York: Harper, 1991), 80. 37.Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The American Scholar,” in Essays and Lectures (New York: Library of America, 1983), 57. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The epigraph to this book is the concluding stanza of William Carlos Williams’s poem “To Elsie,” which appeared in the 1923 volume Spring and All. I am deeply grateful to those who, as interviewees, reviewers, or correspondents, provided me with insight and assistance: Claudio Aporta, Henry Beer, Véronique Bohbot, George Dyson, Gerhard Fischer, Mark Gross, Katherine Hayles, Charles Jacobs, Joan Lowy, E.


The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the World's Most Astonishing Number by Mario Livio

Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Alfred Russel Wallace, Benoit Mandelbrot, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, cosmological constant, Elliott wave, Eratosthenes, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, mandelbrot fractal, music of the spheres, Nash equilibrium, Ralph Nelson Elliott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Thales of Miletus, the scientific method

The general property that each term in the sequence is equal to the sum of the two preceding ones is expressed mathematically as (a notation introduced in 1634 by the mathematician Albert Girard): Fn+2=Fn+1 + Fn Here Fn represents the nth number in the sequence (e.g., F5 is the fifth term); Fn+1 is the term following Fn (for n = 5, n+1 = 6), and Fn+2 follows Fn+1 Figure 27 The reason that Fibonacci's name is so famous today is that the appearance of the Fibonacci sequence is far from being confined to the breeding of rabbits. Incidentally, the title of this chapter was inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson's The Natural History of Intellect, which appeared in 1893. Emerson says: “All the thoughts of a turtle are turtles, and of a rabbit, rabbits.” We shall encounter the Fibonacci sequence in an incredible variety of seemingly unrelated phenomena. To start things off, let us examine a phenomenon that is just about as remote from the topic of rabbit progeny as we could possibly imagine—the optics of light rays.


pages: 267 words: 85,265

That Wild Country: An Epic Journey Through the Past, Present, and Future of America's Public Lands by Mark Kenyon

American Legislative Exchange Council, bank run, clean water, Donald Trump, land tenure, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan

The “shining city upon the hill,” as many imagined America to be, was well on the way to reducing its vast domain to rubble. But hope was on the horizon. An emerging philosophy that viewed the natural world with reverence rather than pure capitalistic lust was gaining traction across the country around this same time. The movement was born out of the same roots as Romanticism and transcendentalism in the 1800s—with champions like Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. For much of the young nation’s history, settlers had viewed the wilderness as a threat to their lives, an obstacle to civilization, and a roadblock to progress. But, as eastern American cities became ever more industrialized, polluted, and overcrowded, people were coming to see the natural world in a different way. Not as something to be destroyed or feared, but as something to be appreciated as an escape from or antidote to the smoggy chaos of the industrial age.


pages: 260 words: 87,958

A Sting in the Tale by Dave Goulson

Albert Einstein, carbon footprint, Ralph Waldo Emerson, urban sprawl

Bumblebees are one of the most familiar and intensively studied of all the insects on earth, but there is still an enormous amount that we do not understand about their lives. fn1 Bird’s-foot trefoil is so named because the seed pods look remarkably like the three-toed foot of a bird, not because they smell of birds’ feet! CHAPTER SEVEN Tasmanian Devils Burly, dozing humblebee, Where thou art is clime for me. Let them sail for Porto Rique, Far-off heats through seas to seek. I will follow thee alone, Thou animated torrid-zone! Ralph Waldo Emerson (American poet) In Tasmania the first bumblebee was recorded in 1992. There was no mistaking her, for the local bee species are tiny – small enough to hide under a grain of rice, mostly drab and not very furry. Nor do bumblebees naturally occur anywhere near Tasmania, for they are mainly creatures of the northern hemisphere. So these new furry giants would not have escaped notice for long, especially since they first appeared in the gardens of Hobart, the most densely populated area of the island.


The Buddha and the Badass: The Secret Spiritual Art of Succeeding at Work by Vishen Lakhiani

Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, deliberate practice, Elon Musk, fundamental attribution error, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, performance metric, Peter Thiel, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, web application, white picket fence

Here are some ideas: Compile love notes from their friends, create a Spotify playlist, send them empowering quotes, set up a temporary Tumblr account dedicated to them, or create a customized (anonymous) Pinterest board of their goals and interests. The ideas are infinite. Get the full Love Week Implementation Guide and see a behind-the-scenes video at www.mindvalley.com/badass. CHAPTER 4 MASTER UNFUCKWITHABILITY To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. —Ralph Waldo Emerson In a world of many options we seek to follow others rather than follow our own inner guidance. The key is to learn to love yourself deeply and learn to trust your inner yearnings. As you do, you can channel these dreams, visions, and desires into a masterpiece of a life. As a leader, you can bring this out in others too. When you do this, the shared visions you create become reality with elegance and ease.


pages: 824 words: 218,333

The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, Benoit Mandelbrot, butterfly effect, dark matter, discovery of DNA, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, longitudinal study, medical residency, moral hazard, mouse model, New Journalism, out of africa, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Scientific racism, stem cell, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Thomas Malthus, twin studies

In Leo Lionni’s classic children’s book: Leo Lionni, Inch by Inch (New York: I. Obolensky, 1960). “We propose to identify every cell in the worm”: James F. Crow and W. F. Dove, Perspectives on Genetics: Anecdotal, Historical, and Critical Commentaries, 1987–1998 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2000), 176. “like watching a bowl of hundreds of grapes”: Robert Horvitz, author interview, 2012. “There is no history”: Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, vol. 7, ed. William H. Gilman (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1960), 202. 131 extra cells had somehow disappeared: Ning Yang and Ing Swie Goping, Apoptosis (San Rafael, CA: Morgan & Claypool Life Sciences, 2013), “C. elegans and Discovery of the Caspases.” he called it apoptosis: John F. R. Kerr, Andrew H. Wyllie, and Alastair R.


pages: 509 words: 92,141

The Pragmatic Programmer by Andrew Hunt, Dave Thomas

A Pattern Language, Broken windows theory, business process, buy low sell high, c2.com, combinatorial explosion, continuous integration, database schema, domain-specific language, don't repeat yourself, Donald Knuth, general-purpose programming language, George Santayana, Grace Hopper, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, index card, lateral thinking, loose coupling, Menlo Park, MVC pattern, premature optimization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, revision control, Schrödinger's Cat, slashdot, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, traveling salesman, urban decay, Y2K

In How to Balance Resources, we'll suggest ways of ensuring that you don't drop any of the balls. In a world of imperfect systems, ridiculous time scales, laughable tools, and impossible requirements, let's play it safe. When everybody actually is out to get you, paranoia is just good thinking. • Woody Allen 21. Design by Contract Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing. • Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays Dealing with computer systems is hard. Dealing with people is even harder. But as a species, we've had longer to figure out issues of human interactions. Some of the solutions we've come up with during the last few millennia can be applied to writing software as well. One of the best solutions for ensuring plain dealing is the contract. A contract defines your rights and responsibilities, as well as those of the other party.


pages: 306 words: 94,204

Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter

back-to-the-land, crack epidemic, David Attenborough, dumpster diving, Golden Gate Park, haute cuisine, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Mason jar, McMansion, New Urbanism, Port of Oakland, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, urban decay, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog

I could tell he was the property owner by the way he walked past the gate and looked at the plants—quizzically, as if they were a magic trick he couldn’t quite figure out. My heart pounding, I went down to talk to him. “Garden OK,” he said after we made introductions. Then he pointed to a few nongarden items that had made it onto the lot, like some old doors and a biodiesel reactor Bill had built. “Only garden.” I nodded, and that was the end of our exchange. If I was trying to be Thoreau, I liked to think of Chan as a modern-day version of Ralph Waldo Emerson, the owner of Walden Pond and its surrounding fields. My fellow squatter Thoreau did have permission from the landowner, but he still liked to call what he was doing—just as I did—squatting. Once I got Jack Chan’s terse seal of approval, I began enhancing the land big-time. The next year the whole lot sprawled with giant orange Rouge Vif d’Estampes pumpkins. I had a customer-service job at a plant nursery and got discounts on fruit trees, so in went an apple tree, a pineapple guava, a lemon, a fig, and an orange tree.


pages: 304 words: 87,702

The 100 Best Vacations to Enrich Your Life by Pam Grout

Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, complexity theory, David Brooks, East Village, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, global village, Golden Gate Park, if you build it, they will come, Maui Hawaii, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, supervolcano, transcontinental railway, urban sprawl, Yogi Berra

You’ll get to the island on one of the lab’s research vessels (they maintain a daily schedule during the summer season from June to late September), stay in one of the dorms, share meals at Kiggins Commons, the hub of the campus, and take field trips to the other islands in the archipelago on the lab’s small fleet of Boston Whalers, inflatable boats, a 19-foot sailboat, and the 47-foot R/V John M. Kingsbury. Although Appledore Island has been a research station for more than 30 years, it once served as a gathering ground for such literati as Mark Twain and Ralph Waldo Emerson, who came to stay at the summer hotel built by the father of poet Celia Thaxter. That hotel, one of the first built on the New England coast, burned to the ground in 1914, but Thaxter’s Garden, a fabulous mess of poppies, sweet peas, hollyhocks, asters, and clematis that was immortalized in her 1894 book An Island Garden, is still there—or rather was re-created in 1977 by Dr. John Kingsbury, the founder and first director of the marine laboratory.


pages: 343 words: 91,080

Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work by Alex Rosenblat

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, big-box store, call centre, cashless society, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Chrome, income inequality, information asymmetry, Jaron Lanier, job automation, job satisfaction, Lyft, marginal employment, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, performance metric, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, Ralph Waldo Emerson, regulatory arbitrage, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, social software, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, TaskRabbit, Tim Cook: Apple, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, urban planning, Wolfgang Streeck, Zipcar

The spread of Uber and Lyft prompted local taxi businesses to build their own apps in many local cities across the United States and Canada, such as Plattsburgh, NY (Plattsburgh Taxi), and Montreal (Téo Taxi). Ignacio is optimistic about Uber’s imminent arrival in the state. “I think it’s good for consumers, more choices,” he offers. As Ignacio articulates his thoughts on the arrival of Uber, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poetic line comes to mind: “America is another name for opportunity.” On a recent vacation to country-music capital Nashville, Tennessee, Ignacio used Uber himself, and it worked well. But when he tried to go with his family to the airport, surge pricing was in effect. Rather than paying fifty dollars for a fourteen-dollar-trip, he hailed a local taxi. Ignacio’s optimism reminds me of the pessimism of Faiq, a driver in New York (whom I introduced in chapter 3).


Hothouse Kids: The Dilemma of the Gifted Child by Alissa Quart

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, cognitive dissonance, deliberate practice, Flynn Effect, haute couture, helicopter parent, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, War on Poverty

The irony is that giving gifted kids—whether poor or middle class or wealthy—enriched education can be understood as both a fundamentally meritocratic practice and as an elitist one, all at the same time. Giftedness had its antecedents: in The Republic Plato suggested that a handpicked child elite should be raised by teachers rather than their parents after the age of ten, and that this child elite should be composed of all classes. Eventually, its members would be ready to rule. In America, the blueprint of a merit-based elite found sponsors in men like Thomas Jefferson and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Jefferson wanted the new country to locate and educate a “natural aristocracy” based on merit, rather than favoring privileged children. “There is a natural aristocracy among men,” said Jefferson. “The grounds of this are virtue and talents.” Of course, in the time of Plato, slaves were in abundance, and Jefferson was himself a slaveholder. During the late eighteenth century, the German philosopher Immanuel Kant imagined genius as unique imagination, aligned with a spirit.


pages: 315 words: 89,861

The Simulation Hypothesis by Rizwan Virk

3D printing, Albert Einstein, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Benoit Mandelbrot, bioinformatics, butterfly effect, discovery of DNA, Dmitri Mendeleev, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, game design, Google Glasses, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, Minecraft, natural language processing, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technological singularity, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Zeno's paradox

We’ll see in this chapter that the simulation hypothesis does a very good job of explaining how the doctrine of reincarnation and its underlying mechanism, karma, might actually work. Multiple Lives and the Doctrines of Reincarnation Let’s take a closer look at the Eastern traditions first. Reincarnation is a doctrine that is shared by many of the Indian religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, in addition to having adherents in the West (Plato in ancient Greek times and Ralph Waldo Emerson, among many others, in more modern times). Although a more literal translation of the ancient Sanskrit texts would be rebirth or transmigration, the idea is the same: each soul (or consciousness, to use a less religiously pregnant term) goes through multiple lives, learning lessons and fulfilling its karma during each. Not all the Indian religions agree on exactly how this process works, though they all seem to have an agreement on the cycle of death and rebirth.


pages: 383 words: 92,837

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman

Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Columbine, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, endowment effect, facts on the ground, impulse control, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, out of africa, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Saturday Night Live, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Steven Pinker, Thales of Miletus

For example, computers have boot sectors which are inaccessible by the operating system—they are too important for the operation of the computer for any other higher level systems to find inroads and gain admission, under any circumstances. Montague noted that whenever we try to think about ourselves too much, we tend to “blink out”—and perhaps this is because we are getting too close to the boot sector. As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote over a century earlier, “Everything intercepts us from ourselves.” Much of who we are remains outside our opinion or choice. Imagine trying to change your sense of beauty or attraction. What would happen if society asked you to develop and maintain an attraction to someone of the gender to which you are currently not attracted? Or someone well outside the age range to which you are currently attracted?


pages: 293 words: 90,714

Copenhagenize: The Definitive Guide to Global Bicycle Urbanism by Mikael Colville-Andersen

active transport: walking or cycling, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, business cycle, car-free, congestion charging, corporate social responsibility, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Enrique Peñalosa, functional fixedness, if you build it, they will come, Induced demand, intermodal, Jane Jacobs, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, neurotypical, out of africa, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, self-driving car, sharing economy, smart cities, starchitect, transcontinental railway, urban planning, urban sprawl, Yogi Berra

The point is that there is so much under the surface that we haven’t noticed—and if we haven’t noticed, we can’t hope to understand. It is time to begin. Let’s look around our cities. Observation is power. Citizens see more clearly than engineers and planners as they move through the public space. Their space. We must follow their lead. CHAPTER 13 A2BISM A great part of courage is the courage of having done the thing before. Ralph Waldo Emerson Cyclist at night in Copenhagen. I know exactly what you want. It’s the same thing that I want. Indeed, it’s what every homo sapien who has ever lived wants: a direct line from A to B when we’re transporting ourselves. Humans are like rivers carving through a landscape—we will always find the easiest route. This is the most basic principle in transport planning. I call it A2Bism. The history of traffic engineering can be summed up concisely.


A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution by Jennifer A. Doudna, Samuel H. Sternberg

3D printing, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, carbon footprint, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, double helix, Drosophila, Mark Zuckerberg, microbiome, mouse model, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Steven Pinker

Identifiers: LCCN 2016058472 (print) | LCCN 2016059585 (ebook) | ISBN 9780544716940 (hardcover) | ISBN 9780544716964 (ebook) Subjects: | MESH: Gene Editing—history | CRISPR-Cas Systems | Genetic Code | Genetic Research—history | United States Classification: LCC QH440 (print) | LCC QH440 (ebook) | NLM QU 11 AA1 | DDC 576.5072—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2016058472 Illustrations throughout the book drawn by Jeffery Mathison Cover design by Martha Kennedy Cover photograph © kirstypargeter/Getty Images v1.0517 To our parents, Dorothy and Martin Doudna (J.A.D.) and Susanne Nimmrichter and Robert Sternberg (S.H.S.) Science does not know its debt to imagination. —Ralph Waldo Emerson Prologue: The Wave IN MY DREAM, I am standing on a beach. To either side of me, a long, salt-and-pepper strip of sand runs along the water, outlining a large bay. It is, I realize, the shore of the island of Hawaii where I grew up: the edge of Hilo Bay, where I once spent weekends with friends watching canoe races and searching for shells and the glass balls that sometimes washed ashore from Japanese fishing boats.


pages: 347 words: 86,274

The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion by Virginia Postrel

Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, factory automation, Frank Gehry, indoor plumbing, job automation, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, placebo effect, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Thomas L Friedman, urban planning, urban renewal, washing machines reduced drudgery, young professional

I can there raise what speculations I please upon others, without being observed myself.”42 Although some found such anonymity disorienting or demoralizing, for others it represented liberation. Metropolitan life offered a chance at reinvention, not to mention pleasures forbidden at home, giving substance to the image of transformation and escape. Writing from nineteenth-century Paris, two young women from provincial Limoges described the city as “an emancipation, a dream. . . . What charmed them specially was ‘that no one spied upon anyone.’ ”43 Young men loved Paris, Ralph Waldo Emerson observed, “because of the perfect freedom—freedom from observation as well as interference—in which each one walks.”44 Boswell, too, relished the city’s privacy and freedom. “The satisfaction of pursuing whatever plan is most agreeable, without being known or looked at, is very great,” he wrote.45 It wasn’t really true, of course, that residents were never spied on, observed, or looked at, as Addison’s desire to “raise what speculations I please upon others” demonstrates.


Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers by David Perlmutter, Kristin Loberg

epigenetics, Gary Taubes, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mouse model, phenotype, publication bias, Ralph Waldo Emerson, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), stem cell

I’ll ask that you devote one week during the program to focus on this important area of your life and commence a regular workout if you don’t already have one. And if you do, then you can use the week to increase the duration and intensity of your workouts, or try something new. CHAPTER 9 Good Night, Brain Leverage Your Leptin to Rule Your Hormonal Kingdom Finish each day before you begin the next, and interpose a solid wall of sleep between the two. —RALPH WALDO EMERSON WHEN SAMUEL, A FORTY-EIGHT-YEAR-OLD STOCKBROKER, came to see me on a late-November day, he asked me to “optimize his health.” This wasn’t the first time someone had made such a blanket, somewhat vague request, but I knew what he really wanted: He wanted me to get to the bottom of his misery and deliver him to a place of vibrant health like he’d never felt before. A tall order for any doctor to fill, but something in his bloated face instantly clued me in to what could have been the problem.


pages: 366 words: 87,916

Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It by Gabriel Wyner

card file, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, index card, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, pattern recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Skype, spaced repetition, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Yogi Berra

Be careful not to get too reliant upon Google Translate for your writing. Eventually, you’ll need to make new grammatical constructions on your own if you want them to stick, so if you roughly know how to say something, then try to do it without Google’s help. Remember, you have access to native speakers to help turn your mistakes into new, useful flash cards. CHAPTER 6 The Language Game It is a happy talent to know how to play. —Ralph Waldo Emerson By learning the sounds of your language, you gain access to words. By learning words, you gain access to grammar. And with just a little bit of grammar, you gain access to the rest of your language. This is the language game. It’s the moment when a new language unfolds before your eyes and you can choose your own games to play and your own paths to follow. On some level, these paths are simple, even obvious: to improve your vocabulary, you need to learn vocabulary; to learn how to read, you need to read; to learn how to speak, you need to speak.


pages: 293 words: 88,490

The End of Theory: Financial Crises, the Failure of Economics, and the Sweep of Human Interaction by Richard Bookstaber

"Robert Solow", asset allocation, bank run, bitcoin, business cycle, butterfly effect, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, cellular automata, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, dark matter, disintermediation, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, epigenetics, feminist movement, financial innovation, fixed income, Flash crash, Henri Poincaré, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John Meriwether, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market clearing, market microstructure, money market fund, Paul Samuelson, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Piper Alpha, Ponzi scheme, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, railway mania, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, risk/return, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sovereign wealth fund, the map is not the territory, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Turing machine, Turing test, yield curve

Merton’s (1948) concept of the self-fulfilling prophecy, which I will discuss in chapter 10. 14. Popper (1957), 18. 15. Kundera (2003), 132–33. 16. The discussion here is based on Posnock (2008). In his exposition of Kundera’s novel, Posnock points out that though one was shaped by twentieth-century communist Czechoslovakia and the other by the nineteenth-century democratic United States, Kundera’s concept is mirrored in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s (1993) essays “Circles” and “Experience.” In “Circles,” Emerson writes that, as is the case with Tomas and Teresa, the “results of life are uncalculated and uncalculable,” and we wish to let go of control; we have an “insatiable desire” to “do something without knowing how or why.” The opening line of Emerson’s essay “Experience” echoes Kundera: “Where do we find ourselves?” His immediate answer is as if we are awakening from a dream to still be in a dream.


pages: 302 words: 95,965

How to Be the Startup Hero: A Guide and Textbook for Entrepreneurs and Aspiring Entrepreneurs by Tim Draper

3D printing, Airbnb, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, business climate, carried interest, connected car, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Deng Xiaoping, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, family office, fiat currency, frictionless, frictionless market, high net worth, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe's law, Metcalfe’s law, Mikhail Gorbachev, Minecraft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pez dispenser, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, school choice, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Donald Trump Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: first, an ideal, which takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice. Arnold J. Toynbee Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success. Dale Carnegie Willie Mays could throw better, and Hank Aaron could hit more home runs. But I've got enthusiasm. I've got desire. I've got hustle. Those are God-given talents, too. Pete Rose Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. Ralph Waldo Emerson The Bucket List Story When I was 32 years old, before anyone knew the term “bucket list,” Ted Leonsis and I were leaving a Preview Travel board meeting on a plane heading from Lanai to Honolulu. It was a very turbulent flight and we were starting to think that this might be our last one. Ted turned to me and said, “Make a list of the 100 things you want to do before you die.” Ted told me about the list he had made and how he was knocking things off his list one by one.


The Big Oyster by Mark Kurlansky

clean water, colonial rule, East Village, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Louis Pasteur, Ralph Waldo Emerson, transcontinental railway, women in the workforce

On leaving New York to return to England, he miscalculated the time of sailing of the steamer, and found that he had an hour and a half upon his hands. “What shall we do?” said the American friend, who had come to see him off. “Return to Broadway,” said his lordship, “and have some more oysters.” c h a p t e r n i n e Ostreamaniacal Behavior The pigs in the street are the most respectable part of the population. — h e n r y d av i d t h o r e au in a letter from New York to Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1843 M anhattan was the field for the bloodiest engage- ment of the Civil War that did not involve Confederate troops. Five Points, the most infamous slum in America, was ruled by street gangs such as the Swamp Angels, who earned their name by attacking from out of sewers, the Daybreak Boys, who were ten and eleven years old, the Dead Rabbits, who went into battle with their namesake impaled on a pike.


pages: 829 words: 229,566

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein

1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, British Empire, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, different worldview, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, energy security, energy transition, equal pay for equal work, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, financial deregulation, food miles, Food sovereignty, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, ice-free Arctic, immigration reform, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jones Act, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, planetary scale, post-oil, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, renewable energy transition, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, wages for housework, walkable city, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

A perhaps apocryphal story surrounds the death of Francis Bacon: in an attempt to test his hypothesis that frozen meat could be prevented from rotting, he traipsed around in chilly weather stuffing a chicken full of snow. As a result, it is said, the philosopher caught pneumonia, which eventually led to his demise.33 Despite some controversy, the anecdote survives for its seeming poetic justice: a man who thought nature could be bent to his will died from simple exposure to the cold. A similar story of comeuppance appears to be unfolding for the human race as a whole. Ralph Waldo Emerson called coal “a portable climate”—and it has been a smash success, carrying countless advantages, from longer life spans to hundreds of millions freed from hard labor.34 And yet precisely because our bodies are so effectively separated from our geographies, we who have access to this privilege have proven ourselves far too capable of ignoring the fact that we aren’t just changing our personal climate but the entire planet’s climate as well, warming not just the indoors but the outdoors too.

(Boston: Wadsworth, 2014), 445. 32. Herman E. Daly and Joshua Farley, Ecological Economics: Principles and Applications (Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 2011), 10. 33. Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, “What’s in a Name? Rivalries and the Birth of Modern Science,” in Seeing Further: The Story of Science, Discovery, and the Genius of the Royal Society, ed. Bill Bryson (London: Royal Society, 2010), 120. 34. Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Conduct of Life (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1903), 70. 35. Clive Hamilton, “The Ethical Foundations of Climate Engineering,” in Climate Change Geoengineering: Philosophical Perspectives, Legal Issues, and Governance Frameworks, ed. Wil C. G. Burns and Andrew L. Strauss (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 58. 36. Esperanza Martínez, “The Yasuní—ITT Initiative from a Political Economy and Political Ecology Perspective,” in Leah Temper et al., “Towards a Post-Oil Civilization: Yasunization and Other Initiatives to Leave Fossil Fuels in the Soil,” EJOLT Report No. 6, May 2013, p. 12. 37.


pages: 269 words: 104,430

Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effect on Our Lives by Catherine Lutz, Anne Lutz Fernandez

barriers to entry, car-free, carbon footprint, collateralized debt obligation, failed state, feminist movement, fudge factor, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, inventory management, market design, market fundamentalism, mortgage tax deduction, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, New Urbanism, oil shock, peak oil, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, Thorstein Veblen, traffic fines, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, white flight, women in the workforce, working poor, Zipcar

RIDING OUT OF A CUBICLE INTO THE ASPHALT FRONTIER Of the many values Americans identify as their own, freedom may top the list, and there are few more potent and tangible symbols of freedom than the car. This is the freedom, not simply of the open road—Walt Whitman was able to celebrate that long before the car existed—but independence from reliance on the schedules and desires of others, whether a family member holding the car keys or a train conductor wielding a timetable. The car is experienced as the ultimate tool of self-reliance—which Ralph Waldo Emerson promoted well before the automotive age as well, of course. But in a world where transportation is centered on a road built for cars, you must be a driver to achieve the valued status of a truly independent person. Unlicensed and carless adults know this better than most; they cope with the anxiety or guilt of relying on others for rides or the shame of seeming somehow immature, inadequate, or incompetent.


pages: 307 words: 97,677

The Evolution of Useful Things by Henry Petroski

Buckminster Fuller, card file, industrial robot, Menlo Park, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, traveling salesman

Nineteen fifty-five was the year since which the then newly created Burger King had used mainly paper packaging. Polystyrene coffee cups were an exception, and in late 1990 they were in the process of being replaced by thick-paper cups. All of these decisions were clearly more politically than technologically driven, pointing up the complex dynamics behind the evolution of artifacts. The conventional wisdom is that technology affects society in irreversible ways and that, as Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in a poem, “Things are in the saddle, / and ride mankind.” However, we might also extend the metaphor by recognizing that we are capable of rearing up and bucking off things that we find too burdensome or that we feel are taking us in the wrong direction. But, in spite of the spectrum of forces at work in pushing and pulling the form of everything from plastic packaging to the hamburger it contains, there remains a unifying principle behind all influences on form.


pages: 307 words: 96,974

Rats by Robert Sullivan

Louis Pasteur, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, trade route, urban renewal, yellow journalism

—John Murphy, an exterminator, in Pest Control Technology magazine I think his fancy for referring everything to the meridian of Concord did not grow out of any ignorance or depreciation of other longitudes or latitudes, but was rather a playful expression of his conviction of the indifferency of all places, and that the best place for each is where he stands. He expressed it once in this wise: "I think nothing is to be hoped from you, if this bit of mould under your feet is not sweeter to you to eat than any other in this world, or in any world." —Ralph Waldo Emerson, in a remembrance of Henry David Thoreau *' It avails not, time nor place—distance avails not, I am with you, you men and women of a Generation, or ever so many generations hence, Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt, Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one of a crowd . . . —Walt Whitman, "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" Chapter 1 NATURE WHEN I WROTE the following account of my experiences with rats, I lived in an apartment building on a block filled with other apartment buildings, amidst the approximately eight million people in New York City, and I paid rent to a landlord that I never actually met—though I did meet the superintendent, who was a very nice guy.


pages: 407 words: 100,512

The Menopause Thyroid Solution by Mary J. Shomon

clean water, Gary Taubes, life extension, megacity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)

I asked many of the doctors I interviewed this question, and I have to say, Tieraona Low Dog’s answer resonated with me. Dr. Low Dog said that, ultimately, we should listen to our own wisdom. Who do we look to? We should look within. Don’t look outside yourself for experts. When I’m in the quiet, I can hear my own inner wisdom…and that may help me to know how to proceed, and where to find the answer. Dr. Low Dog then shared a compelling quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, and I think it’s fitting to end the book with it: These are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world. appendix a RESOURCES This is an abbreviated list of key resources. A lengthy, detailed resources list, featuring recommended books, Web sites, and organizations to support you in your effort to live well, along with listings of menopause and hormone clinics around the United States, is featured online at http://www.menopausethyroid.com.


pages: 372 words: 101,174

How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed by Ray Kurzweil

Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anesthesia awareness, anthropic principle, brain emulation, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, computer age, Dean Kamen, discovery of DNA, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, George Gilder, Google Earth, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Law of Accelerating Returns, linear programming, Loebner Prize, mandelbrot fractal, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, strong AI, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize

Darwin simply discovered the role of selection, a kind of causality very different from the push-pull mechanisms of science up to that time. The origin of a fantastic variety of living things could be explained by the contribution of which novel features, possibly of random provenance, made it to survival. There was little or nothing in physical or biological science that foreshadowed selection as a causal principle. —B. F. Skinner Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. —Ralph Waldo Emerson A Metaphor from Geology In the early nineteenth century geologists pondered a fundamental question. Great caverns and canyons such as the Grand Canyon in the United States and Vikos Gorge in Greece (reportedly the deepest canyon in the world) existed all across the globe. How did these majestic formations get there? Invariably there was a stream of water that appeared to take advantage of the opportunity to course through these natural structures, but prior to the mid-nineteenth century, it had seemed absurd that these gentle flows could be the creator of such huge valleys and cliffs.


pages: 326 words: 97,089

Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search for Life Among the Stars by Lee Billings

addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, California gold rush, Colonization of Mars, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, Dava Sobel, double helix, Edmond Halley, full employment, hydraulic fracturing, index card, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Kuiper Belt, low earth orbit, Magellanic Cloud, music of the spheres, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, planetary scale, profit motive, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, random walk, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Solar eclipse in 1919, technological singularity, the scientific method, transcontinental railway

Meanwhile, Seager still needed to work; she could not allow herself to crumble into grief. She made arrangements for babysitters, and found nurses to provide palliative care. Having watched her father succumb to cancer, she knew this was the calm before the storm. Some evenings she would walk to nearby Walden Pond, to the same still water and sweet scents of oak and hickory that the Transcendentalists Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Thoreau had so cherished more than a century before. One day, she promised herself, whether with her two boys or any grandchildren, she would stand beneath the dark sky of Walden Pond and, pointing to a bright point of light, tell them that star possessed a planet very much like the Earth. “Each time you look up at it,” she would say, “someone there may be looking right back.” The thought gave her solace, and a feeling of being very big and oh so small, all at once.


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 airline, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Nelson Mandela, Northern Rock, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, trade route, zero-sum game

Had I not been willing and able to step back and let them get on with it, the outcome could have been very different. Hiring the right people is a skill, and like most things you get better at it with practice, but there are some good shortcuts that can help you learn quickly. Here are my tips for identifying great people and building your team. CHARACTERS AND CULTURES Although almost certainly not involved in hiring people, the nineteenth-century American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote that, ‘Character is higher than intellect.’ I am sure it will come as no surprise that I wholeheartedly endorse this line of thought, although the task of uncovering the true character of a job candidate can be a challenge. Essentially an interview is a game of figuring out whether or not the character of a candidate will be a good fit with the culture of the company. One great way to test this may be to ask two or three of the employees who will work with this person to join you at some point in the interview, and to come prepared with a few of their own questions.


Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, energy transition, Flynn Effect, Google Earth, Hyperloop, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, life extension, light touch regulation, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, obamacare, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart meter, Snapchat, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, supervolcano, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, traffic fines, Travis Kalanick, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Y2K, yield curve

He bumped into Sam Staples, Concord’s constable and tax collector, who reminded him that he hadn’t paid the annual poll tax required of all males between the ages of twenty and seventy. True, said Thoreau, he hadn’t, because as an abolitionist, “I cannot for an instant recognize as my government that which is the slave’s government also.” So, he was led off to jail, and there he spent the night. His friend Ralph Waldo Emerson is said to have visited and asked why he was there, only to be asked in return, “Why are you not?” In any event, as Thoreau later wrote, he was thinking of solutions that went well beyond the simple democratic rule his New England ancestors had fought for: Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence. A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; it is not even a minority then; but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight.


pages: 347 words: 99,969

Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages by Guy Deutscher

Alfred Russel Wallace, correlation does not imply causation, Kickstarter, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker

His younger contemporary, the German Johann Gottfried Herder, concurred that “the intellect and the character of every nation are stamped in its language.” Industrious nations, he said, “have an abundance of moods in their verbs, while more refined nations have a large amount of nouns that have been exalted to abstract notions.” In short, “the genius of a nation is nowhere better revealed than in the physiognomy of its speech.” The American Ralph Waldo Emerson summed it all up in 1844: “We infer the spirit of the nation in great measure from the language, which is a sort of monument to which each forcible individual in a course of many hundred years has contributed a stone.” The only problem with this impressive international unanimity is that it breaks down as soon as thinkers move on from the general principles to reflect on the particular qualities (or otherwise) of particular languages, and about what these linguistic qualities can tell about the qualities (or otherwise) of particular nations.


pages: 299 words: 19,560

Utopias: A Brief History From Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities by Howard P. Segal

1960s counterculture, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, complexity theory, David Brooks, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, deskilling, energy security, European colonialism, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of journalism, G4S, garden city movement, germ theory of disease, Golden Gate Park, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge economy, liberation theology, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, Nikolai Kondratiev, out of africa, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, union organizing, urban planning, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog

The two have been depicted as utterly antagonistic (the machine versus nature, the city versus the country, or civilization versus wilderness). Such a misreading of American history is epitomized by Leo Marx’s influential The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America (1964). Too many of Marx’s conclusions derive from his otherwise insightful readings of a handful of great writers such as Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Such men were hardly representative of ordinary Americans. By definition, as great writers they transcended their own times and places, and they themselves were hardly averse to all forms of technology. Their principal target was the intrusion of the railroad into pastoral settings. This distortion of American history leads to the kind of pseudoromantic quest for a pre-technological past that was popular with the “counterculture” of the 1960s.


pages: 336 words: 97,204

The Mystery of Charles Dickens by A. N. Wilson

British Empire, Columbine, Corn Laws, Etonian, Fellow of the Royal Society, George Santayana, Honoré de Balzac, James Watt: steam engine, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Ralph Waldo Emerson, sexual politics, spinning jenny, Thomas Malthus

He sent her eleven letters during this period, as well as a cheque for £1,000 – all sent via Wills to whom (10 December) he confided, ‘my spirits flutter woefully towards a certain place at which you dined one day not long before I left with the present writer and a third (most drearily missed) person’.31 Dolby sailed on the China and arrived at Boston harbour on 23 October 1867. The point of starting in Boston was that it was supposedly a city where Dickens had many literary acquaintances – his publisher James T. Fields and his amusing, hospitable young wife in their house in Charles Street; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Louis Agassiz, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Bret Harte, James Russell Lowell and others – and where he could spend two weeks of relaxation before the ardours of the readings commenced. Dolby secured Dickens an officer’s cabin on the deck of the Cuba, but he left Liverpool with a sad heart, and he was going to be homesick, and ill, for most of the cold months he was away. The idea that he might have been able to travel about America with Nelly, and for her not to be observed, was dispelled even before embarkation.


pages: 941 words: 237,152

USA's Best Trips by Sara Benson

Albert Einstein, California gold rush, car-free, carbon footprint, desegregation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, if you build it, they will come, indoor plumbing, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, McMansion, mega-rich, New Urbanism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, the High Line, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration

Try a Jack Kerouac Walking Tour, compiled by the Jack Kerouac Subterranean Information Society. The fantastically detailed route stops at various sites throughout Lowell featured in five of his novels. Woodsy Concord, just a short jaunt down Rte 3, is another step back in time. Nestled within the quaint collection of pitches and gables are the former residences of two of New England’s most beloved authors. Check out the Ralph Waldo Emerson Homes, which boasts most of the original furnishings purchased by the writer, and a luscious organic garden planted by Henry David Thoreau for Nathaniel Hawthorne (he also inhabited the estate). Louisa May Alcott wrote her famous semiautobiographical Little Women in her home Orchard House, which is now part of a small estate of historical buildings called Louisa May Alcott Homes. Complete Concord’s literary hat-trick with a stay at Wayside Inn, made famous by Longfellow’s poems Tales from a Wayside Inn

Self-guided maps are also available. http://ecommunity.uml.edu/jklowell; Lowell, MA Louisa May Alcott Homes The setting of bestselling Little Women, Alcott’s home is now a museum detailing her life surrounded by Transcendentalism. 978-369-4118; www.louisamayalcott.org; 399 Lexington Rd, Concord, MA; adult/child $9/5; 10am-4:30pm Mon-Sat, 1-4:30pm Sun Apr-Oct, reduced winter hours; Mark Twain House & Museum This museum carefully illustrates Mark Twain’s life in Hartford through photos, films, artifacts and manuscripts. 860-247-0998; www.marktwainhouse.org; 351 Farmington Ave, Hartford, CT; adult/child $14/8; 9:30am-5:30pm Mon-Sat, noon-5:30pm Sun, closed Tue Jan-Mar Montague Bookmill This bookstore is a converted cedar gristmill from 1842 with many rooms of used books on offer. 413-367-9206; www.montaguebookmill.com; 440 Greenfield Rd, Montague, MA; 10am-6pm The Mount Award-winning writer Edith Wharton came to Lenox in 1899 and built this palatial estate where she entertained a colorful array of guests. 413-551-1111; www.edithwharton.org; 2 Plunkett St, Lenox, MA; adult/child $18/free; 9am-5pm May-Oct Ralph Waldo Emerson Homes Emerson’s home boasts original furnishings and a luscious organic garden planted by Henry David Thoreau for Nathaniel Hawthorne. 978-369-2236; www.rwe.org/emersonhouse; 28 Cambridge Turnpike, Concord, MA; adult/child $7/free; 10am-4:30pm Thu-Sat, 1-4:30pm Sun mid-Apr–Oct Walden Pond This stunning, silent glacial pond made famous by Henry David Thoreau and surrounded by multicolored trees was the epicenter of Transcendental thought. 978-369-3254; www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/northeast/wldn.htm; 915 Walden St, Concord, MA; admission free, parking $5; dawn-dusk; EAT & DRINK Fruitlands Tearoom This restaurant sits on a former Transcendentalist commune founded by Louisa May Alcott’s father. 978-456-3924; 102 Prospect Hill Rd, Harvard, MA; lunch $11-14; Apr-Oct Map Room Café A quaint coffee shop in the heart of the Boston Public Library.


pages: 891 words: 253,901

The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government by David Talbot

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, drone strike, information retrieval, Internet Archive, land reform, means of production, Naomi Klein, Norman Mailer, operation paperclip, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation

Michael’s parents, George Lyman Paine Jr. and Ruth Forbes Paine, were the kind of odd ducks that Mary liked collecting—quirky offspring of prominent New England heritage with minds as restless as hers. Lyman was an architect and a gentleman Trotskyite whose political activities earned him a place on the FBI’s watch list. Ruth Forbes Paine hailed from a Boston blue-blood family that had made its fortune from the China tea and opium trade, and counted Ralph Waldo Emerson among its progenitors. She would give herself over to the pursuit of world peace and the exploration of human consciousness. In the 1920s, Mary was a regular at the salons presided over by Lyman and Ruth in their spacious studio apartment on the Upper East Side—gatherings that drew a colorful menagerie, including artists, trust-fund revolutionaries, truth seekers, and other devotees of the esoteric.

Entering the campaign late, Kennedy threw himself into the primary race with raw determination, knowing that he was fighting an uphill battle against the Democratic Party establishment as well as competing with McCarthy for the antiwar vote. Bobby waded, virtually unprotected, into frenzied crowds on every stop of his campaign; his presidential race was perhaps the bravest, and most reckless, in American history. “Living every day is like Russian roulette,” he told political reporter Jack Newfield. RFK was so moved by something Ralph Waldo Emerson had written that he copied it down and carried it with him: “Always do what you are afraid to do.” Bobby’s courage gave strength to those around him, to those ambitious, idealistic men who had served his brother and were now following RFK on his perilous path. His heroism inspired their own. Men like Schlesinger, who could not bring himself to break from the establishment without a Kennedy leading the way; and Kenny O’Donnell, who had begun drinking himself to death, instead of telling the world what he had seen that day in Dealey Plaza with his own eyes; and even Robert McNamara, who had allowed himself to be debased by his allegiance to Johnson and the folly of his war.


pages: 339 words: 112,979

Unweaving the Rainbow by Richard Dawkins

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Arthur Eddington, complexity theory, correlation coefficient, David Attenborough, discovery of DNA, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Mahatma Gandhi, music of the spheres, Necker cube, p-value, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Solar eclipse in 1919, Steven Pinker, Zipf's Law

Deacon goes on to prefer a 'symbiotic' rather than a virulently parasitic model, drawing the comparison again with mitochondria and other symbiotic bacteria in cells. Languages evolve to become good at infecting child brains. But the brains of children, those mental caterpillars, also evolve to become good at being infected by language: co-evolution yet again. C. S. Lewis, in 'Bluspels and Flalansferes' (1939), reminds us of the philologist's aphorism that our language is full of dead metaphors. In his 1844 essay 'The Poet', the philosopher and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said, 'Language is fossil poetry.' If not all of our words, certainly a great number of them, began as metaphors. Lewis mentions 'attend' as having once meant 'stretch'. If I attend to you, I stretch my ears towards you. I 'grasp' your meaning as you 'cover' your topic and 'drive home' your 'point'. We 'go into' a subject, 'open up' a 'line' of thought. I have deliberately chosen cases whose metaphoric ancestry is recent and therefore accessible.


pages: 403 words: 105,431

The death and life of the great American school system: how testing and choice are undermining education by Diane Ravitch

David Brooks, desegregation, hiring and firing, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, longitudinal study, mega-rich, Menlo Park, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

One hopes we have moved beyond those contentious times and can at last identify essential writings that have stood the test of time and continue to be worthy of our attention. Without the effort to teach our common cultural heritage, we risk losing it and being left with nothing in common but an evanescent and often degraded popular culture. Let us instead read, reflect on, and debate the ideas of Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Henry David Thoreau, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, W. E. B. DuBois, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, William Shakespeare, John Milton, John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Lewis Carroll, and many others whose writings remain important because of their ideas, their beauty, or their eloquence. Let us be sure that our students read the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and other basic documents of our nation’s founding and development.


pages: 329 words: 106,831

All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How Fifty Years of Video Games Conquered Pop Culture by Harold Goldberg

activist lawyer, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, Apple II, cellular automata, Columbine, Conway's Game of Life, G4S, game design, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Mars Rover, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Oldenburg, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Great Good Place, Thorstein Veblen, urban planning

Mesmerized, you traveled from the Bronze Age through the Space Age, and even constructed the world’s Seven Wonders. But it was Wright’s games that set the stage. In Wright’s inventions the literary-minded, the sociology-minded, and the science-minded could discover fragments of their most beloved theories. In Wright’s games one could see the slow, sad suburban irony of Raymond Carver and John Cheever, and even the transcendent hope of Ralph Waldo Emerson. In that sense the moniker “God Games” was a misnomer. Wright’s creations, especially SimCity and The Sims, were more about the human condition, about evolution and about the meaning of play, than they were about simply taking the role of an omniscient being. These games were Human Games, not God Games. Wright, an atheist, might well agree. A lanky Ichabod Crane of a man, who often wore a black lambskin leather jacket, Wright was born in Atlanta to an engineer father who attended Georgia Tech and started a profitable company that made plastic bags.


pages: 366 words: 109,117

Higher: A Historic Race to the Sky and the Making of a City by Neal Bascomb

buttonwood tree, California gold rush, Charles Lindbergh, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, hiring and firing, margin call, market bubble, Ralph Waldo Emerson, transcontinental railway, Works Progress Administration

Next came the Albemarle on Twenty-fourth Street, with which Van Alen proved that an office building didn’t need a heavy cornice at its crown. Since ancient Greece, these ornamental slabs had extended out over roofs, and its removal on the Albemarle drew praise for the firm. Soon more commissions for office buildings, banks, hotels, restaurants, stores, and country residences came their way—including the J. M. Gidding Building in midtown, a Fifth Avenue shop front said to have the same breathless inventiveness as Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poetry, and a Long Island estate praised for its simplicity. In letters to potential clients, after detailing their list of services and expected charges, Severance & Van Alen would proudly conclude: “Our office is entirely organized, having the Departments to furnish all of the services as outlined; and we have had a wide experience . . . of considerable magnitude with various clients [to] whom . . . we take pleasure in referring you for any outside information regarding our qualification for this work.”


pages: 339 words: 105,938

The Skeptical Economist: Revealing the Ethics Inside Economics by Jonathan Aldred

airport security, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, clean water, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Diane Coyle, endogenous growth, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, framing effect, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, libertarian paternalism, longitudinal study, new economy, Pareto efficiency, pension reform, positional goods, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, school choice, spectrum auction, Thomas Bayes, trade liberalization, ultimatum game

My own experience confirms it. 14 Redelmeier and Kahneman (1996). 15 Offer (2006) provides a rich historical survey. 16 See for example his article in The Guardian, 15 May 2007. 17 There are many other psychological phenomena that challenge the economic view of choice, in addition to those just discussed. For surveys see Frey and Benz (2004) and Rabin (2002). 18 As argued influentially in Hahn and Hollis (1979), Ch 1. 19 This approach to consumer theory was first proposed by Lancaster (1966). 20 Interview with Sir John Krebs, then Director of the Food Standards Agency, Prospect, April 2005. 21 Becker and Murphy (1988). We will soon meet Gary Becker’s striking ideas again. 22 Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘Wealth’ in The Conduct of Life (1860), Boston, Ticknor and Fields. 23 Karl Marx (1847) Wage Labour and Capital, Ch 6. 24 Frederick and Loewenstein (1999), Barber (2007). 25 Brickman et al (1978). See also Frederick and Loewenstein (1999), p312, who cite a large number of studies reaching the same conclusions. 26 Loewenstein and Schkade (1999), p90. 27 Schkade and Kahneman (1998). 28 Frank (1999), Ch 6; Frederick and Loewenstein (1999) Clark, et al (2008). 29 Van Praag and Frijters (1999). 30 Frank (1999), Ch 6. 31 Frederick and Loewenstein (1999), pp314-317. 32 See deBotton (2004) and Marmot (2004). 33 For balanced discussion of various aspects of this debate see Anand (1993a), Schmid (2004), Hargreaves-Heap et al (1992) and Hausman and McPherson (2006). 34 Note for economists: it might be objected that behavioural economics is beginning to influence the entire profession.


pages: 335 words: 104,850

Conscious Capitalism, With a New Preface by the Authors: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business by John Mackey, Rajendra Sisodia, Bill George

Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, business process, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, Flynn Effect, income per capita, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, lone genius, Mahatma Gandhi, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, profit maximization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, shareholder value, six sigma, social intelligence, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, union organizing, wealth creators, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

These life-affirming virtues seldom appear in our lives automatically; we usually have to consciously work to cultivate them within ourselves. Ultimately, the aspiration to embody these virtues is what helps raise us to a higher level. It is essential that we strive to embody the higher virtues and practice living them every day. This isn’t easy; it requires determination, consistency, persistence, and willpower. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.” Cultivating character through the intentional use of will is no longer a particularly fashionable idea, especially with many intellectuals who are apt to poke fun at the self-help books that advocate this. Immensely popular in the nineteenth-century Victorian age, conscious self-improvement fell out of intellectual favor in the latter half of the twentieth century with the development of many psychological theories that diminished the importance of self-responsibility.


pages: 319 words: 105,949

Skyfaring: A Journey With a Pilot by Mark Vanhoenacker

Airbus A320, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, computer age, dark matter, digital map, Edmond Halley, Joan Didion, John Harrison: Longitude, Louis Blériot, Maui Hawaii, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, phenotype, place-making, planetary scale, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, the built environment, transcontinental railway, Year of Magical Thinking

What we live in is the atmosphere: the glowing air-planet that envelops the rock and water. Or you might think of air not as length or sphere but as depth. Here, again, there is truth and comfort in the natural analogy with water. Evangelista Torricelli, the inventor of the barometer, framed this in a 1644 letter: “Noi viviamo sommersi nel fondo d’un pelago d’aria.” We live submerged at the bottom of an ocean of air. Ralph Waldo Emerson, too, would speak of our enveloping air-sea, a few centuries later, in “this ocean of air above…this tent of dropping clouds.” There’s a particular kind of airport weather report known as a surface actual: the latest dispatch from the surface of the earth, from the bottom of the air-ocean. When you put your mouth over an empty plastic water bottle and inhale, the bottle collapses. Not, as we may think, because your inhalation pulls the sides of the bottle in, but because you remove the air that held the bottle’s shape against the crush of the atmosphere.


pages: 442 words: 110,704

The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars by Dava Sobel

Albert Einstein, card file, Cepheid variable, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dava Sobel, Edmond Halley, Edward Charles Pickering, Ernest Rutherford, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, index card, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, luminiferous ether, Magellanic Cloud, pattern recognition, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Solar eclipse in 1919

Along with her classifying, Miss Cannon also kept up her bibliography pertaining to variable star observations. The fifteen thousand index cards she inherited in 1900 had since multiplied many times over, and now numbered around two hundred thousand. She maintained as well a much smaller collection of astronomical verse—poems by Milton, Longfellow, Tennyson, and others—within the covers of a slim notebook. She liked these lines from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Nature” well enough to transcribe them: “Teach me your mood, O patient stars! / Who climb each night the ancient sky, / Leaving on space no shade, no scars, / No trace of age, no fear to die.” Now in her seventies, Miss Cannon still reported to the observatory six days a week. Every spring she selected a new Pickering Fellow and a new recipient for financial aid from Nantucket nonagenarian Lydia Hinchman.


pages: 385 words: 105,627

The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom by Simon Winchester

Berlin Wall, British Empire, David Attenborough, Deng Xiaoping, double helix, Etonian, Fellow of the Royal Society, index card, invention of gunpowder, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, New Urbanism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, stakhanovite, Stephen Hawking, Ted Kaczynski, trade route

It was shattered by the bitter rivalries of a dozen regional fiefdoms; it was seething with the conflicting ambitions of newly imported ideologies; greedy foreign powers were gnawing away at its major cities and at its outer edges. The culminating humiliation was the Japanese invasion, begun formally in 1937, which by the time Needham arrived had resulted in the military occupation of one-third of the country. “This booby nation,” the American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson had complained in 1824. He was well ahead of his time. Most of his generation saw China as an exotic Oriental enigma, pushed well beyond the mainstream of global culture, an irrelevant place that could offer to the outside world little more than silk, porcelain, tea, and rhubarb, and all wrapped in a coverlet of unfathomable mystery. Some few took a longer view. John Hay, America’s secretary of state at the turn of the twentieth century, remarked in 1899 that China was now the “storm center of the world,” and that whoever took the time and trouble to understand “this mighty empire” would have “a key to politics for the next five centuries.”


pages: 477 words: 106,069

The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century by Steven Pinker

butterfly effect, carbon footprint, crowdsourcing, Douglas Hofstadter, feminist movement, functional fixedness, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, index card, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, McMansion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Nelson Mandela, profit maximization, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, short selling, Steven Pinker, the market place, theory of mind, Turing machine

For that matter, you could avoid cliché altogether by adapting one of the other images in the full sentence: “To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, to throw a perfume on the violet, to smooth the ice, or add another hue unto the rainbow, or with taper-light to seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, is wasteful and ridiculous excess.” Thoughtless clichés can even be dangerous. I sometimes wonder how much irrationality in the world has been excused by the nonsensical saying “Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” a corruption of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s remark about “a foolish consistency.” Recently a White House official referred to the American Israel Political Affairs Committee as “the 800-pound gorilla in the room,” confusing the elephant in the room (something that everyone pretends to ignore) with an 800-pound gorilla (something that is powerful enough to do whatever it wants, from the joke “Where does an 800-pound gorilla sit?”).


pages: 519 words: 104,396

Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (And How to Take Advantage of It) by William Poundstone

availability heuristic, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, equal pay for equal work, experimental economics, experimental subject, feminist movement, game design, German hyperinflation, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, index card, invisible hand, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, laissez-faire capitalism, Landlord’s Game, loss aversion, market bubble, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nash equilibrium, new economy, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Philip Mirowski, Potemkin village, price anchoring, price discrimination, psychological pricing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, random walk, RFID, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, social intelligence, starchitect, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, ultimatum game, working poor

Would you say, well, it’s reasonable now, or would you change something? SUBJECT: Actually, it is reasonable. LICHTENSTEIN: Can I persuade you that that is an irrational pattern? SUBJECT: No, I don’t think you probably could . . . You may be wondering whether we should cut those poor preference-reversal subjects a little slack. (“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, endearing him to the inconsistent ever since.) There are a few things to be said for the quaint virtue of self-consistency, though. Inconsistency in prices is different from inconsistency in music tastes. Behind every corner stands a sharp character ready to profit from prices gone askew. That practically everyone’s normal, thoughtful pattern of price setting presents an ongoing arbitrage opportunity was a shock.


pages: 407 words: 112,767

The Tao of Fully Feeling: Harvesting Forgiveness Out of Blame by Pete Walker

Albert Einstein, Lao Tzu, life extension, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Saturday Night Live

Many of us were conditioned by our parents to believe empty testimonies of love. “Of course I love you,” and “I am only doing this because I love you,” are cliches that many of us heard innumerable times in circumstances that were anything but loving. CIRCUMNAVIGATING MY LONELINESS Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. – Ralph Waldo Emerson When I finally escaped my family and the army, I went out On The Road as a Dharma Bum pursuing the adventures that Jack Kerouac described in the aforementioned novels. I was a self-proclaimed “loner” and proud of it, bent on finding meaning in life by emulating the hedonistic adventures and quasi-spiritual quests of the characters in these books. I spent six years as a dropout, and during that time I managed to elude any kind of commitment to career or relationship.


pages: 381 words: 111,629

The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer by Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, Dr. Elissa Epel

Albert Einstein, epigenetics, impulse control, income inequality, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mouse model, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), stem cell, survivorship bias, The Spirit Level, twin studies

If you find one that works for you, focus on it for a while, until it becomes a habit. If you practice any of these Labs regularly, they should enhance your cellular health as well as your daily wellbeing. Studies have found that lifestyle changes can have an effect on telomere maintenance (that means increased telomerase or telomere length) as soon as three weeks to four months. Remember, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Don’t be too timid or squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” PART II YOUR CELLS ARE LISTENING TO YOUR THOUGHTS ASSESSMENT: Your Stress Response Style Revealed Part Two, “Your Cells Are Listening to Your Thoughts,” offers insights into how you experience stress and how you can shift that experience to be healthier for your telomeres and more beneficial in your daily life.


pages: 382 words: 105,166

The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations by Jacob Soll

accounting loophole / creative accounting, bank run, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, delayed gratification, demand response, discounted cash flows, double entry bookkeeping, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, God and Mammon, High speed trading, Honoré de Balzac, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, new economy, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Scientific racism, South Sea Bubble, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route

He is a reader of hieroglyphics, however written, for every erasure, altercation [sic], interlining, dot, dash or character may have meaning. . . . He is the foe of deceit and the champion of honesty.”21 The bookkeeper as a financial Sherlock Holmes, bringing light and reason to the mysteries of finance, became a powerful idea among education reformers and the influential pioneers of the new profession of accounting. From a prestigious family, Charles Waldo Haskins—the nephew of Ralph Waldo Emerson—was among the first Chartered Public Accountants. An erudite and learned philosopher of accounting, he wrote works on how to do both financial and domestic accounting. Haskins’s Business Education and Accountancy (1904) bemoaned “men of business” who derided “men of education.” He believed that through accounting, businessmen had to unite with “men of science” to create a method of business administration.


pages: 377 words: 115,122

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, call centre, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, game design, hive mind, index card, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, new economy, popular electronics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, traveling salesman, twin studies, Walter Mischel, web application, white flight

Many of the earliest conduct guides were religious parables, like The Pilgrim’s Progress, published in 1678, which warned readers to behave with restraint if they wanted to make it into heaven. The advice manuals of the nineteenth century were less religious but still preached the value of a noble character. They featured case studies of historical heroes like Abraham Lincoln, revered not only as a gifted communicator but also as a modest man who did not, as Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, “offend by superiority.” They also celebrated regular people who lived highly moral lives. A popular 1899 manual called Character: The Grandest Thing in the World featured a timid shop girl who gave away her meager earnings to a freezing beggar, then rushed off before anyone could see what she’d done. Her virtue, the reader understood, derived not only from her generosity but also from her wish to remain anonymous.


pages: 395 words: 118,446

The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, Martha Banta

Albert Einstein, Donald Trump, Frederick Winslow Taylor, greed is good, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the market place, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair

For another useful résumé of Veblen’s ideas (both pros and cons), see Michael Splinder, in Veblen and Modern America: Revolutionary Iconoclast (London, 2002), 144–6. 7 Veblen’s dissertation on ‘Kant’s Critique of Judgement’ is missing from the Yale University Library. 8 Veblen lacked conventional good looks, the reason why ‘other profs couldn’t imagine why the girls fell for him’. When caught up in further scandals at Stanford University over the women who swarmed around him, he wrote to a friend, ‘The president doesn’t approve of my domestic arrangements; nor do I.’ From John Dos Passos, The Bitter Drink: A Biography of Thorstein Veblen (San Francisco, 1939), 12. 9 The original Dial was the voice for the Transcendentalists, edited by Margaret Fuller and Ralph Waldo Emerson between 1840 and 1844. It reappeared in 1880 in Chicago as a conservative magazine of literary criticism, but by 1918 with its move to New York City it had become a radical journal featuring major writers and social critics. 10 Andrew Veblen, Veblen’s elder brother who became a well-known mathematician, wrote a useful account, The Veblen Family: Immigrant Pioneers from Valdris. It corrects the view that the Veblens lived a raw frontier life advanced by Joseph Dorfman’s Thorstein Veblen and His America.


pages: 393 words: 115,217

Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries by Safi Bahcall

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Astronomia nova, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edmond Halley, Gary Taubes, hypertext link, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Jony Ive, knowledge economy, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Murray Gell-Mann, PageRank, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, tulip mania, Wall-E, wikimedia commons, yield management

* * * In the two decades since Joseph Smith’s first visions in the early 1820s in a small farm town in upstate New York, the Mormon Church had grown to over 25,000 followers. Announcing a vision and organizing believers in the New England of this era was not uncommon. In Maine, the visions of Ellen White launched Seventh-day Adventism. In New York, visions of Revelation inspired followers of Jemima Wilkinson to build a town called Jerusalem. At the Harvard Divinity School, the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson (son of a minister) lectured that the true message of the living Jesus was that anyone could have spiritual visions and awaken others: “Cast behind you all conformity, and acquaint men at first hand with Deity.” Those other visionaries, however, stayed local. Smith’s visions directed him west, to seek a New Jerusalem for his people. Everywhere Smith and his followers landed and built towns—Kirtland, Ohio; Jackson County, Missouri; Hancock County, Illinois—their otherness, as well as growing economic and political influence, threatened earlier settlers.


pages: 426 words: 115,150

Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship With Money and Achieving Financial Independence: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century by Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez, Monique Tilford

asset allocation, Buckminster Fuller, buy low sell high, credit crunch, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, fiat currency, financial independence, fixed income, fudge factor, full employment, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, index card, index fund, job satisfaction, Menlo Park, money market fund, Parkinson's law, passive income, passive investing, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Bolles, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, software patent, strikebreaker, Thorstein Veblen, Vanguard fund, zero-coupon bond

It is, after all, a perennial ideal and a cornerstone of the American character. Both Socrates and Plato praised the “golden mean.” Both the Old Testament (“Give me neither poverty nor wealth, but only enough”) and the teachings of Jesus (“Ye cannot serve both God and money”) extol the value of material simplicity in enriching the life of the spirit. In American history well-known individuals (Benjamin Franklin, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Frost) as well as groups (Amish, Quakers, Hutterites, Mennonites) have carried forward the virtue of thrift—both out of respect for the earth and out of a thirst for a touch of heaven. And the challenges of building our nation required frugality of most of our citizens. Indeed, the wealth we enjoy today is the result of centuries of frugality. As we said earlier, the “more is better” consumer culture is a Johnny-come-lately on the American scene.


pages: 399 words: 114,787

Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction by David Enrich

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-globalists, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, buy low sell high, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Donald Trump, East Village, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, forensic accounting, high net worth, housing crisis, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Jeffrey Epstein, London Interbank Offered Rate, Lyft, Mikhail Gorbachev, NetJets, obamacare, offshore financial centre, post-materialism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Renaissance Technologies, risk tolerance, Robert Mercer, rolodex, sovereign wealth fund, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, yield curve

The Virgin Atlantic plane touched down at JFK shortly before ten P.M., and a hearse drove onto the tarmac to collect the coffin. The memorial service was held on February 8. Hundreds of guests, bundled against the freezing wind, hurried into the redbrick Presbyterian church on Park Avenue. As they entered, each person was handed a laminated card with a picture of a smiling, suit-wearing Bill on one side, and on the other a famous Ralph Waldo Emerson poem about the meaning of a successful life. The church’s long rows of wooden pews filled, and mourners crowded into the balconies. Bill’s brother Bob stood in the pulpit. He recounted the stories about Bill’s subcontracting of his newspaper route and his insistence on picking up the tab for a relative’s medical care. He talked about how Bill had hated to lose on the tennis court and how he had been “a force of nature in the kitchen.”


pages: 369 words: 121,161

Alistair Cooke's America by Alistair Cooke

Albert Einstein, Alistair Cooke, British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, double entry bookkeeping, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, Hernando de Soto, imperial preference, interchangeable parts, joint-stock company, Maui Hawaii, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, strikebreaker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, urban sprawl, wage slave, Works Progress Administration

Heat and light, news and conveniences, and more sophisticated kinds of entertainment – something better than the local dramatic society and (as Will Rogers liked to recall) the Saturday night excursion downtown ‘to watch haircuts.’ It’s hard to say whether the prairie communities yearned for city amenities, or whether the amenities were thrust upon them. At any rate, the era inspired a rush of inventors and the heyday of the Ingenious American. When Samuel Morse flicked the switch that passed out the first telegraph message, somebody said that Maine could now talk to Florida. In Boston Ralph Waldo Emerson remarked, ‘Yes, but has Maine anything to say to Florida?’ It is a good question, and one worth asking again in an America that floods the television screen with words and pictures from dawn to dawn, mainly because the television screen is there. But, in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, New York and Chicago had lots to say to each other, and to Denver and San Francisco, and the whistle-stops in between.


pages: 405 words: 112,470

Together by Vivek H. Murthy, M.D.

Airbnb, call centre, cognitive bias, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, crowdsourcing, gig economy, income inequality, index card, longitudinal study, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social intelligence, stem cell, twin studies, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft

All of these experiences deepen our connection with ourselves even as they remind us that we’re part of something more interconnected than we can fathom. This is both humbling and consoling. Each of us has a lot to feel grateful for. We each have a lot to offer. And when we reach out to one another from a place of self-knowledge and compassion, we have the power to transform our lives and heal the world. Chapter 7 Circles of Connection The only way to have a friend is to be one. —Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Of Friendship” The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing, and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares. —Henri Nouwen, Out of Solitude If we imagine human connections forming through a process that starts within each of us then reaches out to others and loops us closer together, what would we call that process?


pages: 420 words: 124,202

The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention by William Rosen

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, barriers to entry, collective bargaining, computer age, Copley Medal, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, delayed gratification, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flynn Effect, fudge factor, full employment, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, iterative process, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, moral hazard, Network effects, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Samuelson, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Simon Kuznets, spinning jenny, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, zero-sum game, éminence grise

Rainhill was a victory not merely for George and Robert Stephenson, but for Thomas Savery and Thomas Newcomen, for James Watt and Matthew Boulton, for Oliver Evans and Richard Trevithick. It was a triumph for the ironmongers of the Severn Valley, the weavers of Lancashire, the colliers of Newcastle, and the miners of Cornwall. It was even a triumph for John Locke and Edward Coke, whose ideas ignited the Rocket just as much as its firebox did. When the American transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson met Stephenson in 1847, he remarked, “he had the lives of many men in him.”43 Perhaps that’s what he meant. * The names of eighteenth-century Cornish mines are as personal, and as obscure, as the names given to thoroughbred racehorses and recreational sailboats. * Or, indeed, any form of thermal or electromagnetic energy. This particular bit of equivalence, the British Thermal Unit, is an early nineteenth-century measurement that has been mostly replaced by a frighteningly large array of units, including calories (and kilocalories), joules (and kilojoules), electron volts, kilowatt-hours, and therms, each of which can be converted to the others


pages: 387 words: 119,409

Work Rules!: Insights From Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, citizen journalism, clean water, correlation coefficient, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, helicopter parent, immigration reform, Internet Archive, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, nudge unit, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, random walk, Richard Thaler, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, survivorship bias, TaskRabbit, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tony Hsieh, Turing machine, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

Zechariah Chafee Jr., “Freedom of Speech in War Time,” Harvard Law Review 32, no. 8 (1919): 932–973, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1327107?seq=26&. 249. “Our Work: What We Believe,” McKinsey & Company, http://www.mckinsey.com.br/our_work_belive.asp. 250. Andrew Hill, “Inside McKinsey,” FT Magazine, November 25, 2011, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/0d506e0e-1583-11e1-b9b8-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2iCZ5ks73. 251. Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” Essays (1841), republished as Essays: First Series (Boston: James Munroe and Co., 1847). 252. http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/more-wood-behind-fewer-arrows.html. 253. Mixed metaphor, I know. I use it because I find that few management practices are completely binary. For example, few companies say “innovate always in everything we do” or “never innovate.” Instead, management practices gather strength over time before ossifying and becoming dysfunctional.


pages: 478 words: 126,416

Other People's Money: Masters of the Universe or Servants of the People? by John Kay

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, buy and hold, call centre, capital asset pricing model, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, cross-subsidies, dematerialisation, disruptive innovation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial thriller, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, Irish property bubble, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, loose coupling, low cost airline, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, market design, millennium bug, mittelstand, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, NetJets, new economy, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Piper Alpha, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, railway mania, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, Renaissance Technologies, rent control, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, Yom Kippur War

In the USA intermediation through securities markets is far more extensive, and many activities are funded through bonds and equity. The UK, as often, lies somewhere in between the two. The remainder of this chapter is concerned with the functioning of the deposit channel (and the payment system that is inextricably linked to it), while Chapter 7 reviews the operation of the investment channel. The payment system Money often costs too much. Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Conduct of Life, 1860 Paul Volcker, the tall, laconic figure who preceded Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, has been reported as saying that the only useful recent financial innovation was the ATM.4 Volcker is deeply sceptical of the developments in wholesale financial markets that excited the celebrants at Jackson Hole. What matters from the perspective of ordinary customers is innovation in retail financial services.


pages: 468 words: 123,823

A People's History of Poverty in America by Stephen Pimpare

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, British Empire, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dumpster diving, East Village, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Gilder, hedonic treadmill, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, index card, Jane Jacobs, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, payday loans, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, union organizing, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration

They are degraded for, in the literal sense, they live outside the grades or categories which the community regards as acceptable.34 Dwight Macdonald, in a New Yorker review of Galbraith’s The Affluent Society and Harrington’s The Other America, said it more succinctly: “Not to be able to afford a movie or a glass of beer is a kind of starvation—if everybody else can.”35 Nineteenth-century novelist William Dean Howells suggested that “poverty is not the lack of things, it is the fear and the dread of want.”36 “Poverty consists in feeling poor,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson.37 Even Adam Smith concedes the utility of such an approach: “Every man is rich or poor according to the degree to which he can afford to enjoy the necessaries, conveniences, and amusements of human life.”38 He elaborates later in Wealth of Nations:By necessaries I understand, not only the commodities which are indispensably necessary for the support of life, but whatever the custom of the country renders it indecent for creditable people, even of the lowest order to be without.


pages: 405 words: 121,531

Influence: Science and Practice by Robert B. Cialdini

Albert Einstein, attribution theory, bank run, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, desegregation, Everything should be made as simple as possible, experimental subject, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, Norman Macrae, Ralph Waldo Emerson, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Albert Einstein “The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are sometimes right.” Winston Churchill How does the photograph that opens this chapter reflect the topic of the chapter? * * * Figure 1.2 Charity Request Appeal * * * Chapter 2 Reciprocation The Old Give and Take . . .and Take Pay every debt, as if God wrote the bill. –Ralph Waldo Emerson SEVERAL YEARS AGO, A UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR TRIED A LITTLE experiment. He sent Christmas cards to a sample of perfect strangers. Although he expected some reaction, the response he received was amazing—holiday cards addressed to him came pouring back from people who had never met nor heard of him. The great majority of those who returned cards never inquired into the identity of the unknown professor.


pages: 404 words: 124,705

The Village Effect: How Face-To-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier, and Smarter by Susan Pinker

assortative mating, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Edward Glaeser, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, facts on the ground, game design, happiness index / gross national happiness, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, neurotypical, Occupy movement, old-boy network, place-making, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, Ray Oldenburg, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steven Pinker, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Tony Hsieh, urban planning, Yogi Berra

But he and a tag team of successors also shone the spotlight on the kids’ family backgrounds, their physical and mental health as they grew up, their stress levels, and ultimately their sex and marital lives, career choices, and political and religious beliefs. The researchers kept up this intrusive level of inquiry for the next eighty-odd years, accumulating a treasure trove of correlations (the project is still going, having been handed off to the next generation of researchers). Not all of what was revealed was pretty, bringing to mind Ralph Waldo Emerson’s aphorism “Sorrow makes us all children again—destroys all differences of intellect.” Slightly fewer of these bright students survived to the age of one hundred than other Americans born in 1910, and the ones who did were more likely to be women.36 Still, in this teeming mountain of data, Terman’s first concern was giftedness, and he was able to show that these talented kids didn’t conform to the stereotype of the era: the super-smart kid as the neurotic, bespectacled, antisocial nerd.


pages: 378 words: 121,495

The Abandonment of the West by Michael Kimmage

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, City Beautiful movement, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, European colonialism, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global pandemic, global supply chain, Gunnar Myrdal, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, Peace of Westphalia, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Thomas L Friedman, transatlantic slave trade, urban planning, Washington Consensus

Hitler had unwittingly brokered both the Popular Front and a certain commonality of national interest between the Soviet Union and the United States.8 AFTER WORLD WAR I, the United States was more reluctant than the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany to seek leadership of the West. A Western frame for the American relationship to Europe would prevail by the war’s end, but initially a more limited Anglo-Saxon frame was stronger. Anglo-Saxonism had a long history in the United States. Thomas Jefferson referred to “our Saxon ancestors,” and Ralph Waldo Emerson believed, in historian Nell Painter’s words, in “the chain of association linking Saxons and Protestants, Protestantism to the English church, the English church to the Magna Carta, and the Magna Carta to ‘liberty.’” Anglo-Saxonism was also in tune with the spirit of racial segregation that was intensifying in the 1920s, comfortably aligned with the Anglophilia and Protestant tenor of the American political elite.


pages: 532 words: 139,706

Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta

23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Ben Horowitz, bioinformatics, Burning Man, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, death of newspapers, disintermediation, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, spectrum auction, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, X Prize, yield management, zero-sum game

They reached out to Jerry Yang and in the spring jointly devised a roadblock strategy; they announced that Google would become the selling agent for a large portion of Yahoo’s search ads. “It gives them a tool to avoid being swallowed by Microsoft,” Eric Schmidt said at the time. Asked in September 2008 what was the most important Google event of the previous six months, Schmidt said, “the Yahoo business deal.... It was a setback for Microsoft.” Google’s effort to have the Justice Department block Microsoft’s bid for Yahoo brought to mind Ralph Waldo Emerson’s delicious observation that “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” Like other corporations, Google and Microsoft extol the virtues of government’s leaving them unfettered, free to innovate—except when they call on government to intervene in order for them to gain a competitive advantage. But antitrust concerns were a real issue for others. The Association of National Advertisers, which represents major companies such as Procter & Gamble, petitioned Justice to block a Google/Yahoo alliance.


pages: 598 words: 140,612

Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier by Edward L. Glaeser

affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, carbon footprint, Celebration, Florida, clean water, congestion charging, declining real wages, desegregation, different worldview, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, endowment effect, European colonialism, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, global village, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute cuisine, Home mortgage interest deduction, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, job-hopping, John Snow's cholera map, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, megacity, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, place-making, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, RFID, Richard Florida, Rosa Parks, school vouchers, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, Thales and the olive presses, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Works Progress Administration, young professional

But in the twentieth century, it became a global bestseller, read by millions and taught by environmentally conscious high school teachers around the world. Thoreau loved the woods, but he was also part of an urban chain of intellectuals. He had been educated in the intellectual hothouse of early nineteenth-century Harvard. More important, he was one of a remarkable concentration of minds brought together by Ralph Waldo Emerson in Concord, a town filled with creative thinkers. Emerson assembled, and occasionally funded, brilliant minds, including Herman Melville, Nathanial Hawthorne, Margaret Fuller, Bronson Alcott, Louisa May Alcott, and Thoreau. Thoreau was part of Emerson’s Transcendentalist salon, but he extolled the virtues of rural isolation rather than urban interaction. In his introduction to Walden, Emerson described Thoreau thus: “An iconoclast in literature, he seldom thanked colleagues for their services to him, holding them in small esteem, whilst yet his debt to them was important.”


pages: 453 words: 132,400

Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Albert Einstein, Bonfire of the Vanities, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, double helix, fear of failure, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Necker cube, pattern recognition, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Vilfredo Pareto

Teachers assure pupils that the boring classes will benefit them later, when the students are going to be looking for jobs. The company vice president tells junior employees to have patience and work hard, because one of these days they will be promoted to the executive ranks. At the end of the long struggle for advancement, the golden years of retirement beckon. “We are always getting to live,” as Ralph Waldo Emerson used to say, “but never living.” Or as poor Frances learned in the children’s story, it is always bread and jam tomorrow, never bread and jam today. Of course this emphasis on the postponement of gratification is to a certain extent inevitable. As Freud and many others before and after him have noted, civilization is built on the repression of individual desires. It would be impossible to maintain any kind of social order, any complex division of labor, unless society’s members were forced to take on the habits and skills that the culture required, whether the individuals liked it or not.


pages: 478 words: 142,608

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Ayatollah Khomeini, Brownian motion, cosmological principle, David Attenborough, Desert Island Discs, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, gravity well, invisible hand, John von Neumann, luminiferous ether, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Murray Gell-Mann, Necker cube, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, placebo effect, planetary scale, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, scientific worldview, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, unbiased observer

Mencken said: ‘We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.’ It is in the light of the unparalleled presumption of respect for religion* that I make my own disclaimer for this book. I shall not go out of my way to offend, but nor shall I don kid gloves to handle religion any more gently than I would handle anything else. CHAPTER 2 THE GOD HYPOTHESIS The religion of one age is the literary entertainment of the next. –RALPH WALDO EMERSON The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sado-masochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. Those of us schooled from infancy in his ways can become desensitized to their horror.


pages: 457 words: 128,640

Servants: A Downstairs History of Britain From the Nineteenth Century to Modern Times by Lucy Lethbridge

Ada Lovelace, British Empire, decarbonisation, garden city movement, high net worth, invisible hand, Louis Pasteur, new economy, period drama, Ralph Waldo Emerson, social web, Thorstein Veblen, traveling salesman, women in the workforce

Wells’s novel Tono-Bungay, the new-rich quickly learned the social cachet of the old over the showy glitter of the new: ‘Their first crude conception of dazzling suites of the newly perfect is replaced almost from the outset by a jackdaw dream of accumulating costly discrepant old things.’7 The great estates became the symbols of an Englishness where effortless caste superiority was preserved by the trappings of patronage and rich Americans fell over themselves to marry their daughters to aristocratic families who, in turn, were in need of funds. The writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, on a visit from the New World, was among those seduced by the English milord’s resistance to strenuous effort of any kind: ‘They have the sense of superiority, the absence of all the ambitious effort which disgusts in the aspiring classes, a pure tone of thought and feeling, and the power to command, among their other luxuries, the presence of the most accomplished men at their festive meetings.’8 For many of those American heiresses who did marry into the aristocracy it was often their spouses’ practical incompetence – being stumped by the simplest of daily tasks – that proved most perplexing to their new brides.


pages: 525 words: 146,126

Ayn Rand Cult by Jeff Walker

affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, buy and hold, credit crunch, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Doomsday Book, Elliott wave, George Gilder, Jane Jacobs, laissez-faire capitalism, market fundamentalism, Mont Pelerin Society, price stability, Ralph Waldo Emerson, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, school vouchers, Torches of Freedom

to which Roark replies, “But I don’t think of you.” A similar exchange between Peter Loire and Humphrey Bogart occurs in the 1941 movie Casablanca. Loire: “You despise me, don’t you?” Bogart: “If I gave you any thought, I probably would.” “A leash is only a rope with a noose at both ends,” the almost-a-hero Gail Wynand realizes too late. “How I treasured that sentence,” recalls Nathaniel Branden. Long before, Ralph Waldo Emerson had written, “If you put a chain around the neck of a slave, the other end fastens around your own,” which for a while became the adage, ‘A slave’s chains are heavy at both ends.’ Upon his death the Atlantic depicted Frank Lloyd Wright in Rand-Roarkian terms as “a Carlylean hero . . . of Wagnerian dimensions . . . forced to breast the wave of ignorance around him.” As in Roark’s courtroom speech, Wright once declared, “Our tribe destroys on . . . suspicion the man who might impart something of immense importance and value” to it.


pages: 493 words: 136,235

Operation Chaos: The Vietnam Deserters Who Fought the CIA, the Brainwashers, and Themselves by Matthew Sweet

Berlin Wall, British Empire, centre right, computer age, Donald Trump, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, game design, Haight Ashbury, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, planetary scale, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Skype, South China Sea, Stanford prison experiment, Thomas Malthus, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, WikiLeaks, Yogi Berra, éminence grise

Richard Ober, the taciturn Harvard man assigned to run the project, did his best to make that happen. But no matter how much energy its operatives expended, no matter how much mone