Tag: 2019 May Quote of the Day

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Like April, May was also cold and wet for some Ricochet members, but many Quote of the Day posts made the Main Feed. There are only a few open dates left on the June Signup Sheet. We make it easy to “Start a Conversation” by including tips for finding great quotes. Don’t miss sharing your […]

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Quote of the Day: Design It for Fools

 

“Always invest in companies that could be run by any fool because sooner or later one will be running it. It’s funny, from dog clubs to HOAs to the US Congress to major corporations, events collude that cause humans to put idiots in charge of their affairs. It only isn’t the rule in small firms and start-ups. Not that it doesn’t happen there, but they fail so quickly that the public doesn’t become aware.” – Peter Lynch, Fidelity Magellan Fund

Peter Lynch led the Fidelity Magellan Fund from 1977 to 1990. In those 13 years, the fund posted an average annual return of 29%, building assets from $20 million to $14 billion. At that growth rate, your money doubles about every 2.5 years. Of course, the stock market was relatively moribund during the 1970s, due to oil embargoes and Jimmy Carter’s “malaise” economy. After Reagan took office, the economy boomed, which explains a significant portion of the gain. But in the quote above, Peter Lynch identified a truth about complex systems and management. The question is “how robust are the country’s important systems to fools?”

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“I don’t believe they’re ever going to quit and I don’t see any plan for victory—either militarily or diplomatically.” LBJ to Robert McNamara, 1965. From the book The Road to Disaster by Brian Van Der Mark. More

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[T]he great Ulysses—the Yankee Generalissimo, surnamed Grant—has expressed his intention of dining in Vicksburg on Saturday next, and celebrating the 4th of July by a grand dinner and so forth. When asked if he would invite Gen. Jo Johnston to join he said. ‘No! for fear there will be a row at the table.’ Ulysses […]

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Quote of the Day: Fake News and the Early Space Program

 

Roy Anderson recalls the story of tracking Pioneer 4:

Three tracking stations demonstrated the ability to track Pioneer 4 to the great distance: Jodrell Bank in England with its 150-foot diameter antenna, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at Goldstone Lake, California with its 85-foot antenna, and a temporary setup at the GE Research Laboratory, Schenectady [where Roy worked], with an 18-foot diameter parabolic antenna.

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Quote of the Day: Borders

 

“And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,” — Acts 17:26, English Standard Version

While on the way to a Bible study months ago, John Lennon’s Imagine came on the radio. I started ranting to my wife about the insipid lyrics. I remembered a guest on “Red Eye” years ago who said that he hated “Imagine no possessions” worse than “Imagine no religion” as the latter can be chalked up to adolescent babbling, but private property is key to being free men or something like that.

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May 13, 1940: The Day the English Language Was Mobilized and Sent Into Battle

 

Seventy-nine years ago, on Monday, May 13, 1940, a man who had been the Prime Minister of England for just three days, and who’d only ascended to the position as the candidate of last resort after internecine squabbling within his own party, and only with the reluctant support of his King, made his maiden speech to Parliament (excerpt follows, entire speech here):

Sir, to form an Administration of this scale and complexity is a serious undertaking in itself, but it must be remembered that we are in the preliminary stage of one of the greatest battles in history, that we are in action at many points in Norway and in Holland, that we have to be prepared in the Mediterranean, that the air battle is continuous and that many preparations have to be made here at home. In this crisis I hope I may be pardoned if I do not address the House at any length today. I hope that any of my friends and colleagues, or former colleagues, who are affected by the political reconstruction, will make all allowances for any lack of ceremony with which it has been necessary to act. I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined the government: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”

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Quote of the Day: Nothing Lasts

 

“We are like children building a sand castle. We embellish it with beautiful shells, bits of driftwood, and pieces of colored glass. The castle is ours, off-limits to others. We’re willing to attack if others threaten to hurt it. Yet despite all our attachment, we know that the tide will inevitably come in and sweep the sand castle away. The trick is to enjoy it fully but without clinging, and when the time comes, let it dissolve back into the sea.” — Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart

 At a rational level, we all know that we will eventually die. But it seems like a far off ending to our lives. The fact is, though, that everything dies. We can’t hold on to anything forever: relationships end, flowers die, cars end up in junkyards, no matter how often we try to save them.

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Quote of the Day: On the Eternal Verities and Squaring the Circle

 

File:01-Quadratur des Kreises E-15-1.svgOur society is changing so rapidly that none of us can know what it is or where it is going. All of us who are mature feel that there are historic principles of behavior and morality, of things that we all believe in that are being lost, not because young people couldn’t believe in them, but because there is no language for translating them into contemporary terms.

The search for that language, the search for the ways to tell young people what we know as we grow older — the permanent and wonderful things about life — will be one of the great functions of this system. We are losing this generation. We all know that. We need a way to get them back.–Edwin H. Land, 1967

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From The Brothers Karamozov: For socialism is not merely the labor question, it is before all things the atheistic question, the question of the form taken by atheism to-day, the question of the tower of Babel built without God, not to mount to heaven from earth but to set up heaven on earth. More

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The Quote of the Day is the easiest way to start a fun conversation on Ricochet. You don’t have to be intelligent, pithy, or eloquent yourself. You can share a written passage that you find interesting, or even something from a favorite movie. You can present the naked quote, or add your thoughts on how […]

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