Friday Quote

March 20, 2009

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Thomas A. Edison

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Friday Quote

March 6, 2009

Following up on the Black Swan references from last week and this week, one more quote for good measure.

“Our inability to predict in environments subjected to the Black Swan, coupled with a general lack of the awareness of this state of affairs, means that certain professionals, while believing they are experts, are in fact not.  Based upon their empirical record, they do not know more about their subject matter than the general population, but they are much better at narrating – or, worse, at smoking you with complicated mathematical models.  They are also more likely to wear a tie.”

– Nassim Taleb, The Black Swan


Friday Quote

February 27, 2009

The payoff of a human venture is, in general, inversely proportional to what it is expected to be.

– Nassim Taleb, The Black Swan


Friday Quote

February 13, 2009

“The thing is, Bob, it’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care.”

-Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston), Office Space


Friday Quote

January 30, 2009

”These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis, [t]he more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

– Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee

(New York Times, New Agency Proposed to Oversee Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, September 11, 2003)


Friday Quote

January 9, 2009

Assuming people quit after successfully playing a risky game once is silly. As a result, the likelihood of killing yourself when playing Russian Roulette with a six-shooter containing one bullet is not one-in-six. It’s 100%.

Paul Kedrosky


Friday Quote

January 2, 2009

“I and my companions suffer from a disease of the heart which can only be cured with gold.”

– Hernan Cortes in an effort to get the indigenous peoples to take him to the source of Aztec gold.