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Last updated Apr 2022 Edit Source

“And the whole earth a mere point in space.” —Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“For we are mistaken when we look forward to death; the major portion of death has already passed. Whatever years be behind us are in death’s hands.” —Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Richard Mott Gummere (Translator), Seneca’s Letters From a Stoic

“What the will of nature is may be learned from a consideration of the points in which we do not differ from one another. For example, when some other person’s slave-boy breaks his drinking-cup, you are instantly ready to say, “That’s one of the things which happen.” Rest assured, then, that when your own drinking-cup gets broken, you ought to behave in the same way that you do when the other man’s cup is broken.” —Arrian Epictetus and William Abbott Oldfather, Enchiridion & the Discourses of Epictetus

“Our egos are constructed in our formative years—our first two decades. They get constructed by our environment, our parents, society. Then, we spend the rest of our life trying to make our ego happy. We interpret anything new through our ego: “How do I change the external world to make it more how I would like it to be?”” —Eric Jorgenson, Jack Butcher, and Tim Ferriss, The Almanack of Naval Ravikant

“We often fail to allow for the possibility that evidence that should be critical to our judgment is missing—what we see is all there is.” —Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow

“You’re born, you have a whole set of sensory experiences and stimulations (lights, colors, and sounds), and then you die. How you choose to interpret them is up to you—you have that choice.” —Eric Jorgenson, Jack Butcher, and Tim Ferriss, The Almanack of Naval Ravikant

“At his table he liked to have, as often as he could, some sensible friend or neighbor to converse with, and always took care to start some ingenious or useful topic for discourse, which might tend to improve the minds of his children.” —Benjamin Franklin and Charles William Eliot, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

“Sadly, human beings are in fact the only species that will deliberately deprive themselves of sleep without legitimate gain.” —Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep

“His capacity for self-discipline is so large that it is almost funny. For example, he was a bit shocked when the Olympic basketball staff advised the Olympic basketball players to put in one hour of practice a day during the summer, because he was already putting in two hours a day—often in ninety-five-degree temperatures, with his feet squishing in sneakers that had become so wet that he sometimes skidded and crashed to the floor. His creed, which he picked up from Ed Macauley, is “When you are not practicing, remember, someone somewhere is practicing, and when you meet him he will win.”” —John McPhee, A Sense of Where You Are

“Every angel is an asshole somewhere. Every asshole is an angel somewhere.” —Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes

“All through his life he kept a journal. This book, he said, was his ‘Savings Bank.’ The thoughts thus received and garnered in his journals were indexed, and a great many of them appeared in his published works. They were religiously set down just as they came, in no order except chronological, but later they were grouped, enlarged or pruned, illustrated, worked into a lecture or discourse, and, after having in this capacity undergone repeated testing and rearranging, were finally carefully sifted and more rigidly pruned, and were printed as essays.” —Dr. Edward Emerson about his father

“In the complex world, the notion of ‘cause’ itself is suspect; it is either nearly impossible to detect or not really defined—another reason to ignore newspapers, with their constant supply of causes for things.” —Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragile

“I saw no cause for their unhappiness, but I was deeply affected by it. If such lovely creatures were miserable, it was less strange that I, an imperfect and solitary being, should be wretched. Yet why were these gentle beings unhappy? They possessed a delightful house (for such it was in my eyes) and every luxury; they had a fire to warm them when chill and delicious viands when hungry; they were dressed in excellent clothes; and, still more, they enjoyed one another’s company and speech, interchanging each day looks of affection and kindness. What did their tears imply?” —Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein

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