Saturday, January 08, 2011

Great Quotes

What I've noticed overtime is that reading and writing helps me center myself, and recharges my mental battery in ways that's only second to getting sleep and showering. Below are some recent memorable quotes. It always impresses me with how the bright candles in the financial field can find these metaphors and overarching themes that apply to other areas of life.

The mating rites of mantises are well known: a chemical produced in the head of the male insect says, in effect, “No, don’t go near her, you fool, she’ll eat you alive.” At the same time a chemical in his abdomen says, “Yes, by all means, now and forever yes.”

While the male is making up what passes for his mind, the female tips the balance in her favor by eating his head. The male, absorbed in the performance of his vital functions, holds the female in a tight embrace. But the wretch has no head – he has hardly a body. And, all that time, that masculine stump, holding on firmly, goes on with the business! - Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (from Bill Gross's recent investment outlook from January 2011 comparing recent policy stimulus focused on maintaining consumption to the mantis matting rituals)

Another from Dr. Marc Faber's January 2011 Gloom Doom and Boom reports:

"One of the annoying things about believing in free will and individual responsibility is the difficulty of finding somebody to blame your problems on. And when you find somebody, it's remarkable how often his picture turns up on your driver's license." - PJ O'Rourke

Howard Marks, also wrote about his take on gold in a memo title "All that Glitters". He compares it to Noah S. “Soggy” Sweat, Jr., a member of the Texas House of Representatives in 1952, about his position on whiskey:

If you mean whiskey, the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean that evil drink that topples Christian men and women from the pinnacles of righteous and gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, shame, despair, helplessness, and hopelessness, then, my friend, I am opposed to it with every fiber of my being.

However, if by whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the elixir of life, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer, the stimulating sip that puts a little spring in the step of an elderly gentleman on a frosty morning; if you mean that drink that enables man to magnify his joy, and to forget life’s great tragedies and heartbreaks and sorrow; if you mean that drink the sale of which pours into Texas treasuries untold millions of dollars each year, that provides tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitifully aged and infirm, to build the finest highways, hospitals, universities, and community colleges in this nation, then my friend, I am absolutely, unequivocally in favor of it. This is my position, and as always, I refuse to compromise on matters of principle.

I recently watched an hour-long video of Hans Rosling a great Statistics teacher (non-finance), that was eye-opening. The beginning was kind of neat but got progressively more interesting throughout the hour. There was one quote from a Stanford professor tracking Tweets to measure emotions and some stuff which I can't remember, and I can't remember exactly what he said but it went something like this:

It's interesting how when you're younger happiness is frequently tied to something new and exciting, whereas when you're older happiness it's tied to peace. (I couldn't agree more.)

Link to the video below:

No comments: