extravagant festivals

NYT:

Two M.I.T. economists, Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, found that the world’s poor typically spend about 2 percent of their income educating their children, and often larger percentages on alcohol and tobacco: 4 percent in rural Papua New Guinea, 6 percent in Indonesia, 8 percent in Mexico. The indigent also spend significant sums on soft drinks, prostitution and extravagant festivals.

The Little Big Things by Tom Peters

Bill Young: “Strive for excellence. Ignore success”

Issac Newton: “I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.”

Stuart Horney, former Lend Lease (Australia) CEO: “Every project we take on starts with a question: ‘How can we do what’s never been done before.’”

Muhammad Yunus: All human beings are entrepreneurs. When we were in the caves, we were all self-employed. We were finding our food, we’re feeding ourselves. That’s where the human history began with. As civilization came, we suppressed it and… We became labor, because (they) stamped us, “You are labor.” We forgot that we are entrepreneurs.

The Pixar Touch: The Making of a Company: “One of the curious aspects of Pixar’s story is that each of the leaders was, by conventional standards, a failure at the time he came onto the scene. [Animator-superstar John] Lasseter landed his dream job at Disney out of college—and had just been fired from it. [Tech genius and founding CEO Ed] Catmull had done well-respected work as a graduate student in computer graphics, but had been turned down for a teaching position and ended up in what he felt was a dead-end software development job. Alvy Ray Smith, the company’s co-founder, had checked out of academia, got work at Xerox’s famous Palo Alto Research Center, and then abruptly found himself on the street. [Steve] Jobs had endured humiliation and pain as he was rejected by Apple Computer; overnight he had transformed from boy wonder of Silicon Valley to a roundly ridiculed has been. …”

Viktor Frankl: “We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

John Seely Brown: “Leaders don’t just make products and make decisions. Leaders make meaning.”

Rolf Jensen: “We are in the twilight of a society based on data. As information and intelligence become the domain of computers, society will place new value on the one human ability that can’t be automated: emotion. Imagination, myth, ritual — the language of emotion — will affect everything from our purchasing decisions to how well we work with others. Companies will thrive on the basis of their stories and myths — on their ability to create products and services that evoke emotion.”

Plato: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.”

E.M. Forster: “Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect…”

Scott Simon: “Intelligent people can always come up with intelligent reasons to do nothing.”

Tom Peters: “Change will take precisely as long as you think it will.”

Napoleon: “The art of war does not require complicated maneuvers; the simplest are the best, and common sense is fundamental. One might wonder how generals blunder; it is because they try to be clever.”

How Doctors Think: “Observers have noted that, on average, physicians interrupt patients within eighteen seconds of when they begin telling their story.”

Mary Oliver: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Karen Lamb: “A year from now you may wish you had started today.”

BMW ad:
“On the back of this three-letter word, we built a company.
Independent in spirit, philosophy, and practice.
Accountable to no one but the driver.
We do not build cars.
We are the creators of emotion.
We are the guardians of exhilaration, thrills, and chills.
We are the Joy of Driving.
No car company can rival our history.
Replicate our passion.
See our vision.
Innovation is our backbone, but Joy is our heart.
We will not stray from our three-letter purpose. We will nurture it.
We will make Joy smarter. We will push it, test it, break it – then build it again.
More efficient, more dynamic.
We will give the world the keys to Joy and they will take it for a ride.
And while others try to promise everything, we promise one thing.
The most personal, cherished, and human of all emotions.
This is the story of BMW.
This is the story of Joy.”

“In a way, the world is a great liar. It shows you it worships and admires money, but at the end of the day it doesn’t. It says it adores fame and celebrity, but it doesn’t, not really. The world admires, and wants to hold on to, and not lose, goodness. It admires virtue. At the end it gives its greatest tributes to generosity, honesty, courage, mercy, talents well used, talents that, brought into the world, make it better. That’s what it really admires. That’s what we talk about in eulogies, because that’s what’s important. We don’t say, ‘The thing about Joe was he was rich.’ We say, if we can, ‘The thing about Joe was he took good care of people.'”—Peggy Noonan, “A Life’s Lesson,” on the astounding response to the passing of Tim Russert, the Wall Street Journal, June 21-22, 2008

what does this all mean?

at 1.44 pm today, i was one of 14 people queuing to pay at borders. 12 women, 2 men, none hot.

the search continues

Roger Ebert:

Some traditions remain (at Cannes). Before every screening at the Auditorium Debussy, for example, someone in the dark is sure to call out “Raoul!” There’s laughter and a little buzz as old-timers explain to their neighbors that once in dim antiquity a moviegoer entered after the lights went down, was unable to find his friend, and shouted out “Raoul!” The search continues.

part numb, part frightened, part indifferent

Albert Einstein via:

How many people are trapped in their everyday habits: part numb, part frightened, part indifferent? To have a better life we must keep choosing how we’re living.

it’s not the same as saying puppies, is it?

Guardian:

As an article entitled “Brassieres: an engineering miracle” from the February 1964 issue of Science and Mechanics journal states: “The challenge of enclosing and supporting a semi-solid mass of variable volume and shape, plus its adjacent mirror image, involves a design effort comparable to that of building a bridge or a cantilevered skyscraper.”

effortless joes

Charlie Munger:

When any guy offers you a chance to earn lots of money without risk, don’t listen to the rest of his sentence. Follow this and you’ll save yourself a lot of misery.

and his other great advice