Nature smiles at the union of freedom and equality in our utopias. For freedom and equality are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when on prevails the other dies. Leave men free, and their natural inequalities will multiply almost geometrically. To check the growth of inequality, liberty must be sacrificed, as in Russia after 1917. Even when repressed, inequality grows; only the man who is below the average in economic ability desires equality; those who are conscious of superior ability desire freedom; and in the end superior ability has its way.

So the conservative who resists change is as valuable as the radical who proposes it – perhaps as much more valuable as roots are more vital than the grafts. It is good that new ideas should be heard, for the sake of the few that can be used; but it is also good that new ideas should be compelled to go through the mill of objection, opposition, and contumely; this is the trial heat which innovations must survive before being allowed to enter the human race. It is good that the old should resist the young, and that the young should prod the old; out of this tension, as out of the strife of the sexes and the classes, comes a creative tensile strength, a stimulated development, a secret and basic unity and movement of the whole.


What writers have is a license also the freedom to sit – to sit, clench their fists, and make themselves be excruciatingly aware of the stuff that we’re mostly aware of only on a certain level. And that if the writer does his job right, what he basically does is remind the reader how smart the reader is. Is to wake the reader up to stuff that the reader’s been aware of all the time. And it’s not a question of the writer having more capacity than the average person. It’s that the writer is willing I think to cut off, cut himself off from certain stuff, and develop…and just, and think really hard. Which not everybody has the luxury to do.

But I gotta tell you, I just think to look across the room and automatically assume that somebody else is less aware than me, or that somehow their interior life is less rich, and complicated, and acutely perceived than mine, makes me not as good a writer. Because that means I’m going to be performing for a faceless audience, instead of trying to have a conversation with a person.

Trying to show how much he doesn’t like publicity. Except if he isn’t a genius, there’s no good reason to read the novel. You don’t open a one-thousand-page book because you’ve heard the author’s a nice guy. You read it – once you prop the thing open at all – because you understand the author is brilliant. He’s grabbed the wrong lesson: The people who seem to adore the press the way, say, Pooh loves a honey jar, look foolish; but the people who seem to hate it also risk foolishness too, because the reader knows how good press must feel, like having the prettiest girl in school drop you a smile. Like having the whole country rub against your toes and twist between your ankles.

So I think it’s got something to do with, that we’re just – we’re absolutely dying to give ourselves away to something. To run, to escape, somehow. And there’s some kinds of escape – in a sort of Flannery O’Connorish way-that end up, in a twist, making you confront yourself even more.


The so-called health professionals have an even deeper, culturally health-defying effect insofar as they destroy the potential of people to deal with their human weakness, vulnerability, and uniqueness in a personal and autonomous way.

Social iatrogenesis is at work when health care is turned into a standardized item, a staple; when all suffering is hospitalized and homes become inhospitable to birth, sickness, and death; when the language in which people could experience their bodies is turned into bureaucratic gobbledegook; or when suffering, mourning, and healing outside the patient role are labeled a form of deviance.

A radical monopoly feeds on itself. Iatrogenic medicine reinforces a morbid society in which social control of the population by the medical system turns into a principal economic activity.

The remaining 39% were subjected to examination by a group of physicians, who selected 45% of these for tonsillectomy and rejected the rest. The rejected children were re-examined by another group of physicians, who recommended tonsillectomy for the 46% of those remaining after the first exam. When the rejected children were examined a third time, a similar percentage was selected for tonsillectomy so that after three exams only 65 of the initial 1000 had not been recommended for tonsillectomy. This test was conducted at a free clinic, where financial consideration could not explain the bias.


“Free Will” by Sam Harris

From the perspective of your conscious awareness, you are no more responsible for the next thing you think (and therefore do) than you are for the fact that you were born into this world.

Yes, you can do what you want – but you cannot account for the fact that your wants are effective in one case and not in another.

You can do what you decide to do – but you cannot decide what you will decide to do.


Like Ray himself, her granddad had bought the right to be privately eccentric by doing good public legal works.

Augmenting her reliable perimeter shooting was a growing taste for driving to the basket. She was no longer on speaking terms with physical pain.

Eliza was exactly half pretty.

The autobiographer now thinks that compliments were like a beverage she was unconsciously smart enough to deny herself even one drop of, because her thirst for them was infinite.

sounded like her unpretended true self.

because serious fans always need to feel uniquely connected to the object of their fandom; they jealously guard those points of connection, however tiny or imaginary, that justify the feeling of uniqueness.

There are few things harder to imagine than other people’s conversations about yourself.


There is nothing so stupid or dangerous that people won’t eagerly do it, if by doing it they will make others believe they are better or stronger or more honorable.

Any dog can do that. Are you a dog? You’re not a human being until you value something more than the life of your body. And the greater the thing you live and die for, the greater you are.


Financial markets history is littered with stories of traders who bought an instrument and tried to reduce the risks by selling a “highly correlated one against it. only to discover that they doubled their risks. The trader after seeing on the screen the price of one of the two instruments go down (the one he is long, of course) and the other go up (the one he is short) will blame markets for not being well behaved.

A deeper analysis would show that, typically, some of the instruments that are easy to buy against easy-to-sell “correlated siblings” are invitations for trouble. They act as a trap that will attract many hedgers and arbitrage traders then force them into noisy liquidations. This effect can lead to disastrous results on gullible managers using such apparatus as the “value at risk.”


To avoid that, you need a raw material inventory. But how large should it be? The principle to be applied here is that you should have enough to cover your consumption rate for the length of time it takes to replace your raw material.

A common rule we should always try to heed is to detect and fix any problem in a production process at the lowest-value stage possible.

The limiting step here should clearly be obtaining a conviction. The construction cost of a jail cell even today is only some $80k. This, plus the $10-$20k it costs to keep a person in kail for a year, is a small amount compared to the million dollars required to secure a conviction. Not to jail a criminal in whom society has invested over a million dollars for lack of an $80k jail cell clearly misuses society’s total investment in the criminal justice system. And this happens because we permit the wrong step (the availability of jail cells) to limit the overall process.

In fact, if indicators are put in place, the competitive spirit engendered frequently has an electrifying effect on the motivation each group brings to its work, along with a parallel improvement in performance.


Instead, they would be compensated in proportion to the relative value units (RVUs) of the care they dispensed. RVUs are a measure of productivity used to determine medical billing.

Generalists like Dr. W. are assigned RVUs primarily according to the complexity of their exams and treatment plans, which are coded on a scale of levels 1 to 5. A simple level 2 visit may yield $60;  level 3, $120; level 4, $210; and so on. “What started to happen is lots of pinkeye was billed at a level 4,” he explained. There was a financial incentive: colleagues who were coding expansively could make twice as much – over $300,000 instead of $170,000.

Oncologists prospered buying chemotherapy drugs from manufacturers and infusing them in the office, generally with a hefty markup, a practice known as “buy and bill.”

As the wholesale price of the new drugs jumped again and again, doctors had little motivation to complain, because they were allowed a markup that was often a set percentage above cost. Doctors who used more expensive drugs earned far more. The practice of buy and bill increased dramatically in the late 1990s and into the new century.

With it, the median compensation for oncologists nearly doubled from 1995 to 2004, to $350,000. One study in 2013 attributed 65% of the revenue in a typical oncology practice to such payments. “Drugs and biologicals make up approximately 80% of all medical oncology charges submitted to Medicare each year.”

The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of your identity. It’s one thing to say I’m the type of person who wants this. It’s something very different to say I’m the type of person who is this.

When situation X arises, I will perform response Y.

The punch line is clear: people who make a specific plan for when and where they will perform a new habit are more likely to follow through.

When your dreams are vague, it’s easy to rationalize little exceptions all day long and never get around to the specific things you need to do to succeed.

After [current habit], I will [new habit].