William Kiely > William's Quotes

Showing 1-30 of 33
« previous 1
sort by

  • #1
    Leo Tolstoy
    “It seems as though mankind has forgotten the laws of its divine Saviour, Who preached love and forgiveness of injuries—and that men attribute the greatest merit to skill in killing one another.”
    Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

  • #2
    Lysander Spooner
    “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case it is unfit to exist.”
    Lysander Spooner, No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority

  • #3
    Robert Higgs
    “Anarchists did not try to carry out genocide against the Armenians in Turkey; they did not deliberately starve millions of Ukrainians; they did not create a system of death camps to kill Jews, gypsies, and Slavs in Europe; they did not fire-bomb scores of large German and Japanese cities and drop nuclear bombs on two of them; they did not carry out a ‘Great Leap Forward’ that killed scores of millions of Chinese; they did not attempt to kill everybody with any appreciable education in Cambodia; they did not launch one aggressive war after another; they did not implement trade sanctions that killed perhaps 500,000 Iraqi children.

    In debates between anarchists and statists, the burden of proof clearly should rest on those who place their trust in the state. Anarchy’s mayhem is wholly conjectural; the state’s mayhem is undeniably, factually horrendous.”
    Robert Higgs

  • #4
    Daniel Kahneman
    “Intuitive errors are normally much more frequent among ego-depleted people, and the drinkers of Splenda showed the expected depletion effect. On the other hand, the glucose drinkers were not depleted. Restoring the level of available sugar in the brain had prevented the deterioration of performance.”
    Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow

  • #5
    Carl Sagan
    “The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars.”
    Carl Sagan

  • #6
    Abraham Lincoln
    “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
    Abraham Lincoln, Great Speeches / Abraham Lincoln: with Historical Notes by John Grafton

  • #7
    Nick Bostrom
    “There is more scholarly work on the life-habits of the dung fly than on existential risks [to humanity].”
    Nick Bostrom

  • #8
    Nick Bostrom
    “Far from being the smartest possible biological species, we are probably better thought of as the stupidest possible biological species capable of starting a technological civilization - a niche we filled because we got there first, not because we are in any sense optimally adapted to it.”
    Nick Bostrom, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

  • #9
    Nick Bostrom
    “In other words, assuming that the observable universe is void of extraterrestrial civilizations, then what hangs in the balance is at least 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 human lives (though the true number is probably larger). If we represent all the happiness experienced during one entire such life with a single teardrop of joy, then the happiness of these souls could fill and refill the Earth’s oceans every second, and keep doing so for a hundred billion billion millennia. It is really important that we make sure these truly are tears of joy.”
    Nick Bostrom, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

  • #10
    Nick Bostrom
    “A recent canvass of professional philosophers found the percentage of respondents who “accept or leans toward” various positions. On normative ethics, the results were deontology 25.9%; consequentialism 23.6%; virtue ethics 18.2%. On metaethics, results were moral realism 56.4%; moral anti-realism 27.7%. On moral judgment: cognitivism 65.7%; non-cognitivism 17.0% (Bourget and Chalmers 2009).”
    Nick Bostrom, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

  • #11
    Nick Bostrom
    “There are anthropogenic state risks at the existential level as well: the longer we live in an internationally anarchic system, the greater the cumulative chance of a thermonuclear Armageddon or of a great war fought with other kinds of weapons of mass destruction, laying waste to civilization.”
    Nick Bostrom, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

  • #12
    Nick Bostrom
    “related type of argument is that we ought—rather callously—to welcome small and medium-scale catastrophes on grounds that they make us aware of our vulnerabilities and spur us into taking precautions that reduce the probability of an existential catastrophe. The idea is that a small or medium-scale catastrophe acts like an inoculation, challenging civilization with a relatively survivable form of a threat and stimulating an immune response that readies the world to deal with the existential variety of the threat.15”
    Nick Bostrom, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

  • #13
    Nick Bostrom
    “Perhaps we ought not to welcome small catastrophes in case they increase our vigilance to the point of making us prevent the medium-scale catastrophes that would have been needed to make us take the strong precautions necessary to prevent existential catastrophes? (And of course, just as with biological immune systems, we also need to be concerned with over-reactions, analogous to allergies and autoimmune disorders.)”
    Nick Bostrom, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

  • #14
    Peter Thiel
    “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?”
    Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

  • #15
    Peter Thiel
    “My own answer to the contrarian question is that most people think the future of the world will be defined by globalization, but the truth is that technology matters more.”
    Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

  • #16
    Peter Thiel
    “For example, a world without secrets would enjoy a perfect understanding of justice. Every injustice necessarily involves a moral truth that very few people recognize early on: in a democratic society, a wrongful practice persists only when most people don’t perceive it to be unjust. At first, only a small minority of abolitionists knew that slavery was evil; that view has rightly become conventional, but it was still a secret in the early 19th century. To say that there are no secrets left today would mean that we live in a society with no hidden injustices.”
    Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

  • #17
    Peter O. Gray
    “Repetition and memorization of imposed lessons are indeed tedious work for children, whose instincts urge them constantly to play and think freely, raise their own questions, and explore the world in their own ways. Children did not adapt well to forced schooling, and in many cases they rebelled. This was no surprise to the adults. By this point in history, the idea that children’s own preferences had any value had been pretty well forgotten. Brute force, long used to keep children on task in fields and factories, was transported into the classroom to make children learn. Some of the underpaid, ill-prepared schoolmasters were quite sadistic. One master in Germany kept records of the punishments he meted out in fifty-one years of teaching, a partial list of which included: “911,527 blows with a rod, 124,010 blows with a cane, 20,989 taps with a ruler, 136,715 blows with the hand, 10,235 blows to the mouth, 7,905 boxes on the ear, and 1,118,800 blows on the head.”25 Clearly he was proud of all the educating he had done.”
    Peter O. Gray, Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life

  • #18
    Étienne de La Boétie
    “Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces.”
    Étienne de La Boétie

  • #19
    William MacAskill
    “When thinking about risk from transport, you can think directly in terms of minutes of life lost per hour of travel. Each time you travel, you face a slight risk of getting into a fatal accident, but the chance of getting into a fatal accident varies dramatically depending on the mode of transport. For example, the risk of a fatal car crash while driving for an hour is about one in ten million (so 0.1 micromorts). For a twenty-year-old, that’s a one-in-ten-million chance of losing sixty years. The expected life lost from driving for one hour is therefore three minutes. Looking at expected minutes lost shows just how great a discrepancy there is between risks from different sorts of transport. Whereas an hour on a train costs you only twenty expected seconds of life, an hour on a motorbike costs you an expected three hours and forty-five minutes. In addition to giving us a way to compare the risks of different activities, the concept of expected value helps us choose which risks are worth taking. Would you be willing to spend an hour on a motorbike if it was perfectly safe but caused you to be unconscious later for three hours and forty-five minutes? If your answer is no, but you’re otherwise happy to ride motorbikes in your day-to-day life, you’re probably not fully appreciating the risk of death.”
    William MacAskill, Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference

  • #20
    William MacAskill
    “The challenge for us is this: How can we ensure that, when we try to help others, we do so as effectively as possible?”
    William MacAskill, Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference

  • #21
    William MacAskill
    “When it comes to doing good, fat-tailed distributions seem to be everywhere. It’s not always true that exactly 80 percent of the value comes from the top 20 percent of activities—sometimes things are even more extreme than that, and sometimes less. But the general rule that most of the value generated comes from the very best activities is very common.”
    William MacAskill, Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference

  • #22
    Richard P. Feynman
    “All the time you're saying to yourself, 'I could do that, but I won't,' — which is just another way of saying that you can't.”
    Richard P. Feynman, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character

  • #23
    Richard P. Feynman
    “You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It's their mistake, not my failing.”
    Richard P. Feynman, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character

  • #24
    Richard P. Feynman
    “When it came time for me to give my talk on the subject, I started off by drawing an outline of the cat and began to name the various muscles.

    The other students in the class interrupt me: "We *know* all that!"

    "Oh," I say, "you *do*? Then no *wonder* I can catch up with you so fast after you've had four years of biology." They had wasted all their time memorizing stuff like that, when it could be looked up in fifteen minutes.”
    Richard P. Feynman, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character

  • #25
    Richard P. Feynman
    “So I have just one wish for you – the good luck to be somewhere where you are free to maintain the kind of integrity I have described, and where you do not feel forced by a need to maintain your position in the organization, or financial support, or so on, to lose your integrity. May you have that freedom.”
    Richard P. Feynman, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character

  • #26
    William MacAskill
    “International labor mobility What’s the problem? Increased levels of migration from poor to rich countries would provide substantial benefits for the poorest people in the world, as well as substantial increases in global economic output. However, almost all developed countries pose heavy restrictions on who can enter the country to work. Scale: Very large. Eighty-five percent of the global variation in earnings is due to location rather than other factors: the extremely poor are poor simply because they don’t live in an environment that enables them to be productive. Economists Michael Clemens, Claudio Montenegro, and Lant Pritchett have estimated what they call the place premium—the wage gain for foreign workers who move to the United States. For an average person in Haiti, relocation to the United States would increase income by about 680 percent; for a Nigerian, it would increase income by 1,000 percent. Some other developing countries have comparatively lower place premiums, but they are still high enough to dramatically benefit migrants. Most migrants would also earn enough to send remittances to family members, thus helping many of those who do not migrate. An estimated six hundred million people worldwide would migrate if they were able to. Several economists have estimated that the total economic gains from free mobility of labor across borders would be greater than a 50 percent increase in world GDP. Even if these estimates were extremely optimistic, the economic gains from substantially increased immigration would be measured in trillions of dollars per year. (I discuss some objections to increased levels of immigration in the endnotes.) Neglectedness: Very neglected. Though a number of organizations work on immigration issues, very few focus on the benefits to future migrants of relaxing migration policy, instead focusing on migrants who are currently living in the United States. Tractability: Not very tractable. Increased levels of immigration are incredibly unpopular in developed countries, with the majority of people in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom favoring reduced immigration. Among developed countries, Canada is most sympathetic to increased levels of immigration; but even there only 20 percent of people favor increasing immigration, while 42 percent favor reducing it. This makes political change on this issue in the near term seem unlikely. What promising organizations are working on it? ImmigrationWorks (accepts donations) organizes, represents, and advocates on behalf of small-business owners who would benefit from being able to hire lower-skill migrant workers more easily, with the aim of “bringing America’s annual legal intake of foreign workers more realistically into line with the country’s labor needs.” The Center for Global Development (accepts donations) conducts policy-relevant research and policy analysis on topics relevant to improving the lives of the global poor, including on immigration reform, then makes recommendations to policy makers.”
    William MacAskill, Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference

  • #27
    Tucker Max
    “To put it simply, we think books are too important to leave to writers, and we want the wisest, most experienced, most knowledgeable people on earth to be able to effectively and easily share their wisdom with the world.”
    Tucker Max, The Book In A Box Method: The New Way to Quickly and Easily Write Your Book

  • #28
    John Stuart Mill
    “He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion... Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them...he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.”
    John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

  • #29
    Arnold Bennett
    “The most important of all perceptions is the continual perception of cause and effect—in other words, the perception of the continuous development of the universe—in still other words, the perception of the course of evolution. When one has thoroughly got imbued into one's head the leading truth that nothing happens without a cause, one grows not only large-minded, but large-hearted. It is hard to have one's watch stolen, but one reflects that the thief of the watch became a thief from causes of heredity and environment which are as interesting as they are scientifically comprehensible; and one buys another watch, if not with joy, at any rate with a philosophy that makes bitterness impossible. One loses, in the study of cause and effect, that absurd air which so many people have of being always shocked and pained by the curiousness of life. Such people live amid human nature as if human nature were a foreign country full of awful foreign customs. But, having reached maturity, one ought surely to be ashamed of being a stranger in a strange land!”
    Arnold Bennett, How to Live on 24 Hours a Day

  • #30
    “An implicit assumption in many normative debates is that private solutions cannot be relied upon for complex problems. Can private governance facilitate cooperation in sophisticated transactions, in large groups, in heterogeneous populations, under conditions of anonymity, or across long distances? Or will problems such as free riding and prisoners’ dilemmas lead to market failure? All of these are empirical questions whose answers are usually assumed rather than investigated. Yet mechanisms of private governance are far more ubiquitous and far more powerful than commonly assumed. Mechanisms of private governance work in small and large groups, among friends and strangers, in ancient and modern societies, and for simple and extremely complex transactions. They often exist alongside, and in many cases in spite of, government legal efforts, and most of the time they are totally missed. The more that private governance solves problems behind the scenes, the more people overlook it and misattribute order to the state. Milton Friedman, for example, recognizes that private rule enforcement could work, but considers it rare: “I look over history, and outside of perhaps Iceland, where else can you find any historical examples of that kind of a system developing?” (Doherty and Friedman, 1995).3 After reading this book, I hope Friedman would answer instead that private order is all around us. Private governance is everywhere and responsible for creating order not just in basic markets but also in the world’s most sophisticated markets, including futures and advanced derivatives markets. If the success of private governance were limited to the examples in this book, the track record should be rated superb. Yet they are a fraction of what has worked and will work in the future. I hope this research inspires others to document some of the countless mechanisms that have made markets as robust as they are. Research in private governance not only”
    Edward Peter Stringham, Private Governance: Creating Order in Economic and Social Life



Rss
« previous 1