“I cannot name a more important means of benefiting young people than encouraging them to commit favorite pieces to memory and recite them often.”

Enter any room and engage anyone in conversation. College president, theologians, philosophers, university professors, industrialists, or politicians. Nothing will bring promotion – and better still usefulness and happiness – than culture giving you general knowledge beyond the depths of those who you may have to deal. Knowledge of the gems of literature at call find a ready and profitable market in the industrialized world. They sell high among men of affairs as I found with my small stock of knowledge.” – Andrew Carnegie

Notes Taken On Winston Churchill

Notes on Bruce Lee

Notes on the Bible

Notes on Shakespeare

“It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.” – Mark Twain

“If you know who you are, you can go anywhere.” – Flannery O’Connor (Everything That Rises Must Converge)

Hic et ubique – Latin meaning “here and everywhere”

“As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance.” – John Wheeler (physicist)

Random Quotes

“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw

“The difference between right word and almost right word is the different between lighting and lightening bug.” – Mark Twain

“The reason that when you make a point, those who have been listening always applaud, and those who have been talking to each other and did not hear it, applaud louder than anyone else.” – Twain

“We shall never have more time.
We have, and always had,
all the time there is.” – Arnold Bennett

“Imagination is the true fire, stolen from heaven, to animate this cold creature of clay, producing all those fine sympathies that lead to rapture, rendering men social by expanding their hearts, instead of leaving leisure to calculate how many comforts society affords.” Mary Wollstonecraft 1794

“Wit laughs at everybody; humor laughs with everybody.” – Abraham Lincoln

“The key to life is figuring out who to be the batboy for.” –Warren Buffett

Conversations with Kennedy

His drinking habit: 1 drink before dinner and rarely 2. It was scotch and water, no ice. He had one glass of wine and no more. He almost never drank during the day and almost never had a drink after dinner.

Once the Kennedy apparatus had announced that some JFK rally had been attended by 35,000 people, a figure which seemed to the traveling report to be substantially high. I asked Kennedy how they had arrived at that figure, and he said to me and a half dozen reporters “Plucky (his Press Secretary) counts the nuns, and then multiplies by 100.” He made them laugh and probably avoided a story about inflated crowd counts by his staff.

“I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.” – Ecclesiastes

The Six Veins of Alibaba

  1. Customer First
  2. Teamwork
  3. Embrace Change
  4. Integrity
  5. Passion
  6. Commitment

“work happily but live seriously.” – Jack Ma

“The world belong’s to the discontent.” – Robert Woodruff

“E pluribus unum.” From many, one.

“He who cannot obey himself will be commanded. That is the nature of living creatures.” Friedrich Nietzsche

“The overman, who has organized the chaos of his passions, given style to his character and become creative, aware of life’s tenors, he affirms life without resentment.” – Friedrich Nietzche

“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,
And treat those two imposters just the same.” – Rudyard Kipling, Jr.

“Study history, study history. In history lie all the secrets of statecraft.” – Winston Churchill

Shortly after Williams Faulkner proclaimed in his Nobel Prize Acceptance speech that “the poet’s, the writer’s, duty is…to help man endure by lifting his heart.”

The ultimate function of the artist according to Stephens:

“Certainly it is not lead people out of the confusion in which they find themselves. Nor is it, I think to comfort them while they follow their readers to and fro. I think the artist’s function is to make his imagination theirs and that he fulfills himself only as he see his imagination become the light in the minds of others. HIs role, in short, is to help people to live their lives.”

“Society is a terrible bore but it is worse not to be invited.” – Oscar Wilde

The Remains of the Day

“What I meant is that we were ambitious, in a way that would have been unusual a generation before, to serve gentlemen who were, so to speak, furthering the progress of humanity.”

“Such decisions were no longer a matter simply of wages, the size of staff at one’s disposal or the splendor of family name; for our generation, I think it fair to say, professional prestige lay most significantly in the moral worth of one’s employer.”

“After all, when one thinks about it, it is not such a foolish thing to indulge in – particularly if it is the case that in bantering lies the key to human warmth.” – Mr. Stevens

The nature of friendship, admiration, and intrigue is highly unscientific.” – David Coggins

“I had a capital view of a it all.” – Walt Whitman of Lincoln’s tour to the White House.

“Eloquence is the comrade of peace, the ally of leisure, and, in some sense, the foster child of a well-ordered state.” Cicero

“Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Fashion is industry, style is culture. That’s why this book is important. It’s not about trends or marketing. It’s about ideas and themes, arts and rituals, the things that constitute culture.” – Glenn O’brien

“But the diversity of the expert witnesses here assembled is an excellent thing. It constitutes a demos, a community that welcomes considerable differences while sharing a common goal — in this instance, the practice of life as art.” – Glenn O’brien


“There is no substitute for “eyeball to eyeball” contact, and there is no type writer as warm as the human voice.”

“Big people make themselves accessible.”

“Some of the most successful persons in history have been the most humble.”

“One of the secrets of success in business is getting in on the ground floor.”

“So, when you’re putting together a deal or have something important to communicate, spend more time creating an advantage.” – Fuqua


“I want to write books that unlock the traffic jam in everybody’s head.”

“My subject is the American Protestant small town middle class. I like middle. It is in middles that extremes clash, where ambiguity restlessly rules.”

His style: “to give the mundane it’s beautiful due.”

“His friendship was like the sun. The closer I got the more I was burned. Yet there are many times when the morning sunrise and evening sunset seduced me to always get closer, and ultimately always get burned.”

“Human excellence comes in two forms: intellectual and moral.” – Aristotle

“I’m like a Bumble Bee. A Bumble Bee isn’t supposed to be able to fly, but he doesn’t know it…and he flies anyway.” – Wayne Rollins

“A poem is best read in the light of all the other poems ever written. We read A the better to read B (we have to start somewhere; we may get very little out of A). We read B the better to read C, C the better to read D, D the better to go back and get something more out of A. Progress is not the aim, but circulation. The thing is to get among the poems where they hold each other apart in their places as the stars do.” – Robert Frost

The Book of Why – Judea Pearl – New Science of Cause and Effect

1. Observation – raw data drives the filtering process.

Causal revolution pushes us on higher rings of the ladder.

2. Moves from seeing (observing) to doing

Goes from what happened to “what will happen.” “Many scientists have been traumatized to learn that none of the methods they learned in statistics is sufficient to articulate, let alone answer, a simple question like “what happens if we double the price?”

3. The Top Rung of the Ladder – Counterfactual questions

What would the world be like if a different path had been taken? These are the building blocks of moral behavior as well as scientific thought. The ability to look backward and imagine what could have been governs our judgement on success and failure, right and wrong.

Eudora – Sayings from Petrified Man

“Throw your mind back.”

“She’s dead to know.”

FDR Documentary – His polio provided him the attitude and sense of being for the underdog. Historians question whether or not he would have received that perspective from his privileged upbringing.

The Zen of Writing – Ben Bradbury

What does writing teach us?

First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right. We must earn life once it has been awarded to us. Life asks for rewards back because it has favored us with animation. So while our art cannot, as we wish it could, save us from wars, privation, envy, greed, old age, or death, it can revitalize us amidst it all.
Secondly, writing is survival. Any art, any good work, of course is that.

The most important item in a writer’s make-up, the things that shape his material are rush him along the road to where he wants to go, I could only warn him to look to his zest, see to his gusto.

For the first thing a writer should be is — excited. He should be a thing of fevers and enthusiasm. Without such vigor, he might as well be out picking peaches or digging ditches; God knows it’d be better for his health.

Run fast. Stand still.

In quickness is truth.

Bayesian Model – a statistical model where you use probability to to represent all uncertainty within the model, both the uncertainty regarding the output but also the uncertainty regarding the input (the parameters) to the model.

There is an old joke about a factory owner who has a machine break down that stops the line. The hold up of the line is going to cost him millions as nothing can get done without it being repaired. Nobody under his employment knows how to fix it so he calls around and finally gets a guy who has years of experience fixing this type of problem. He comes down and takes a look. The factory owner tells him he’ll pay whatever it costs to fix it. The worker looks around for a bit, takes out a screwdriver, replaces a small screw in the assembly line and voila, the whole operation starts back. He hands the owner of the factory an invoice:

$1 for the screw
$9,999 knowing which screw to replace.

“Nicolson believed that ‘It is in this that one finds his master of the House. It is the combination of great flight of oratory with sudden swoops into the intimate and conversational. Of all his devices it is the one that never fails.”

Henry Clay spoke again and again, at times to storms of applause from crowded galleries. He rebuked personal ambitions. An individual man is “an atom, almost invisible without a magnifying glass…a drop of water in the great deep, which evaporates and is born off by the winds; a grain of sand, which is soon gathered to the dust from which it sprung. Shall a being so small, so petty, so fleeting, so evanescent, oppose itself to onward of a great nation, to subsist for ages and ages to come?…Forbid it God!”  – Henry Clay

“An eloquent man should be able to speak of small things in a lowly manner, of moderate things in a temperate manner, and of great things with dignity.” – Cicero


“Any human being who does not wish to be part of the masses need only stop making things easy fro himself. Let him follow his conscience, which calls out to him: “Be yourself, All that your are now doing, thinking, desiring, all that is not you.”

“Every young soul hears this call by day and by night shudders with excitement at the premonition of that degree of happiness which externalities have prepared for those who will give thought to their true liberation. There is no way to help any soul attain this happiness, however, so long as it remains shackled with the chains of opinion and fear. And how hopeless and meaningless life can become without such a liberation! There is no drearier, sorrier creature in nature than the man who has evaded his own genius and who squints now towards the right, now towards the left, now backwards, now in any direction whatever.”

“No one can build you the bridge on which you, and only you must cross the river of life. There may be countless trails and bridges and demigods who would gladly carry you across; but only at the price of pawning and forgoing yourself. There is one path in the world that none can walk but you! Where does it lead? Don’t ask, walk!”

“How can a man know himself? It is a dark, mysterious business: if a hare has seven skins, a man may skin himself seventy times without being able to say “Now this is truly you; that is no longer your outside.” It is also an agonizing, hazardous undertaking this to dig its oneself, to climb down toughly and directly into the tunnels of one’s being. How easy it is thereby to give oneself such injuries as no doctor can heal. Moreover, why should it even be necessary given that everything bear witness to our being — our friendships and animosities, our glances and our handshakes, our memories and all the we forgot, our books as well as our pens. For the most important inquiry, however, there is a method. Let the young soul survey its own life with a view of the following question: “What have you truly loved thus far? What has ever uplifted your soul, what has dominated and delighted it at the same time? Assemble these revered objects in a row before you and perhaps they will reveal a law by their nature and their order: the fundamental law of your very self. Compare these objects, see how they complement, enlarge, outdo, transfigure one another; how they forma ladder on whose steps you have been climbing up to the yourself so far; for your true self does not lie buried deep within you, but rather rises immeasurably high above you or at least above what you commonly take to be your I.”

“Nobody knew him really, the way you realize you never knew a suicide.” – Rosellen Brown in Inter-Office

“The office is one which should be neither sought nor declined. In times that try men’s souls, the patriot knows no North, no South, no East, no West. His motto should be: ‘My country, my whole country and nothing but my country.'” – Ambrose Bierce

“Pay attention to the frontiers of ignorance.” – Andy Stanley

“These hands don’t fix and build, they purchase and replace.” – Matthew Dicks

Ian Fleming on Writing a Thriller

“There must no complications in names, relationships, journey’s or geographical settings to confuse or irritate the reader. He must never ask himself “Where am I?” ‘Who is this person?’ ‘What the hell are they all doing?’ Above all there must never those maddening recaps where the hero maunders about his unhappy fate, goes over in his mind a list of suspects, or reflects what he might have done or what he proposes to do next. By all means, set the scene or enumerate the heroines measurements as lovely as you wish, but in doing so each word must tell, and interest or titillate the reader before the action hurries on.”

The Founders of both RJR and Nabisco would have utterly failed to understand what was going on here. It is not so hard, in the mind’s eye, to see R. J. Reynolds and Adolphus Green wandering through the carnage of the LBO war. They would turn to one another, occasionally, to ask puzzled questions. Why did these people care so much about what came out of their computers and so little about what came out of their factories? Why were they so intent on breaking up instead of building up? And last: What did this all have to do with doing business? – Barbarians at the Gate


Bernard Darwin:

“stoical courtesy”

“Ventured with infinite delicacy”

“An arresting phrase.”

“Making shots of unbelievable folly at moments of great importance.”

“Egregious error and I’ll-timed eccentricities.”

Doak on architecture: “It has nothing about it that might make it respectable, it has to have quality knocked into it until it can hold its head up in polite society.”

“Golf camaraderie, like that of astronauts and Antarctic explorers, is based on a common experience of transcendence; fat or thin, scratch or duffer, we have been somewhere together where non-golfers never go.” – John Updike

“Life promises you sorrow. It’s up to us to add joy.” – Opti the Mystic

“A curious sport whose object is to put a very small ball in a very small hole with implements ill-designed for the purpose.” – Winston Churchill on Golf

“Self consciousness means that the man — the artist, the sportsman — is not in earnest, is not really doing his best to see into the cosmos, to solve the problem or to play the game of life, is thinking more of himself than of this – and so again it all comes back to character.  -Hamilton Arnault –  Mystery of Golf

“No virtue in the world is so oft rewarded as perseverance.” – Bobby Jones

“Wearing the map of Atlanta on his face.” (about Bobby Jones)

“Old friends always say something supremely foolish at important junctions.”

“A series of grassy equations to be solved.”

“Landed like a grapefruit.”

“if you have sufficient gluteus maximus in your stroke.” – Bobby Jones

“and I detonated completely in that third round.” – Jones

“reflecting on the mutability of fortune.” – Jones

“squeezer hot cuts” – Woods

“Ever drop your peg at Cypress Point?”

“Golf is the only sport where those who can’t master it love it more than those who can. That’s the true glory of the game. Maybe that’s why we keep coming back.” – Dodson

“bobbled like a cork.”

“With promptitude and diligence.”

Wedged everybody’s eyes out. – Green

“Count the number of X by the knuckles of his hand.”

“He scrambled as well as an egg.”

“Quail high stinger.”

“Attacked like a cornered wolverine.”

“Keyed up as a racehorse kicking in the stall before Derby Day.”

“That will make you feel groggy weeks after.”

“Pressure is a hazard in the game as plain as sand or wind or water and all the more insidious for being out of sight.” – Mark Frost

Mark Twain

“For him bedtime came only when there was no other place to go and nobody left to talk to.”

“But one reminiscence leads to another.” – Twain

“Invigorating blood of commerce.” – Twain

“The reason that when you make a point, those who have been listening always applaud, and those who have been talking to each other and did not hear it, applaud twice as loud.”

“I do not know how to thank you sufficiently for this high honor in which you are conferring upon me.” – Twain

“I have lived in this world a long, long time and I know you must not judge a man by the editorials that he puts in his papers. A man is always better than his printed opinions.” – Twain

“My friends: we are here with reverence and respect to commemorate and enshrine in memory.” –  Twain

“You cannot talk on compliments.” – Twain

” I want to thank you gentlemen for this very high honor you are doing me, and I am quite competent to estimate it at it’s value.”

“Fixed the destinies of my life.”

“Let luck rebalance her books.”

“Verdict of experience.”

“Paths cross for a reason, let’s find out why our’s did.”

Herodotus – The Histories

“For most of those which were great once are small today; and those which used to be small were great in my own time. Knowing, therefore, that human prosperity never abides long in the same place, I shall pay attention to both alike.”

The Mystery of Golf

“Many men had attempted to explain the game’s indecent fascination, but what…”

“The old hand is more concerned about how he plays than about why he plays.”

“for none knows better than the golfer that the game render up its secret only to the golfer, if even to him, this individual is surrounded with a sort of halo of superiority, a halo not made by himself.”

“Golf is like faith: it is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen; and not until it is personally experienced does the unbelieving change from the imprecatory to the precatory attitude.”

“Medicine is my lawful wife and literature is my mistress. When I get fed up with one, I spend the night with the other. Though it is irregular, it is less boring this way, and besides, neither of them loses anything through my infidelity.” – Chekov

“And, indeed, his writings heighten that sense of the mystery of life which is one of the effects of all authentic literature. At the same time they tend to discourage the view that existence is a meaningless play of chance forces.”  On Chekov
“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.”  – L.P. Jacks
“My whole work drive has been aimed at making people understand each other…” – Steinbeck
“Boileau said that Kings, Gods, and Heroes only were fit subjects for literature. The writer can only write about what he admires. Present day kings aren’t very inspiring, the gods are on vacation, and about the only heroes left are the scientists and the poor…And since our race admires gallantry, the writer will deal with it where he finds it. He finds it in the struggling poor now.”  -Steinbeck.
“The only thing new in the world is the history you do not know.” – Harry Truman
“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.” – Schopenhauer
“All life is just a progression toward, and then a recession from, one phrase—’I love you.'” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, from “The Offshore Pirate”
“Mind has three aspects:


Intellectual —> truth
Ethical —-> nobility
Esthetic —-> beauty”  – Sherwin Cody

“Yet we know that the delicate enjoyment of life is in our cultivation of leisure in a refined and noble way.” – Sherwin Cody
“Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing”
— Salvador Dali
“He who rules by virtue is like the North Star”  – Confucius 
“Sensible men are all of the same religion.” – Disraeli
“The earth is a generous mother. She will provide in plentiful abundance food for all her children, if they will cultivate her soil in justice and peace.” – Bourke Cockran
“What people really want to hear is the truth — it is the exciting thing — speak the simple truth.” – Bourke Cockran
“In a society where there is democratic tolerance and freedom under the law, many kinds of evils will crop up, but give them a little and they will usually green their own cure.” – Bourke Cockran
Two rules of speaking and writing: “first, speak the truth,” then “Make one simple bold point and keep pounding on it with many illustrations and examples.” – Bourke Cockran
“To do good is noble; to teach other to do good is nobler, and no trouble.” – Mark Twain 
“He lies when the truth provides better facts.” – Judge
“No iron spike can pierce a heart as icily as a period in the right place.” Isaac Babel
“A moderate in domestic affairs, an internationalist in foreign affairs, and a conservative in fiscal policy.” – on Gerald Ford

If you wish to improve, be content to appear clueless or stupid in extraneous matters.” — Epictetus

19th century English critic John Ruskin: “Life without labor is guilt, labor without art is brutality.”

The most important advice for those in politics, strategy, defence planning and management generally is his exhortation to abstract lessons at the right level. All sorts of details are important ‘to historians’ but not to non-historians trying to learn general ‘lessons from history’. And all sorts of deep lessons recur in history if one abstracts at the right level. Historians are interested in details like ‘how Rome won the Battle of X because particular ABC’ but most of these details are only interesting to a historian interested in the particular case. But ‘how Rome innovated’, ‘how Rome organised military training’ and ‘how Roman leaders connected political ends to military operations’ are deep timeless lessons. - Dominic Cummings

“When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.”

"There is a soul above the soul of each,
A mightier soul, which yet to each belongs;
There is a sound made of all human speech,
And numerous as the concourse of all songs;
And in that soul lives each, in each that soul,
Though all the ages are its lifetime vast;
Each soul that dies, in its most sacred whole
Receiveth life that shall forever last.
And thus forever with a wider span
Humanity o'erarches time and death;
Man can elect the universal man,
And live in life that ends not with his breath;
And gather glory that increases still
Till Time his glass with Death's last dust shall fill."

- Richard Watson Dixon .

He is no longer a child of time ; he is a citizen of eternity . - James Lee

He heard the music in the mud and scum of things. - James Lee on Henry Grady

'Those opposed eyes,
Which like the meteors of a troubled heaven,
All of one nature, of one substance bred,
Did lately meet in th ' intestine shock,
Shall now, in mutual well - beseeming ranks,
March all one way. ' "