Saturday, November 26, 2005

If the twentieth century, with first the telegraph, then the telephone, and finally the internet, was about communication; then, the twenty-first century will be about integration

--- Stanley Crouch, quoted (paraphrased?) by Robert Dean in an review of Wynton Marsalis' "All Rise"

Monday, November 21, 2005

Never ascribe to malice, that which can be explained by incompetence.

---- Napoleon

Saturday, November 05, 2005

In a hop garden, a fruit garden, a kitchen garden, both the rent of the landlord, and the profit of the farmer, are generally greater than in a corn or grass field. But to bring the ground into this condition requires more expense. Hence a greater rent becomes due to the landlord. It requires, too, a more attentive and skilful management. Hence a greater profit becomes due to the farmer. The crop too, at least in the hop and fruit garden, is more precarious. Its price, therefore, besides compensating all occasional losses, must afford something like the profit of insurance. The circumstances of gardeners, generally mean, and always moderate, may satisfy us that their great ingenuity is not commonly over-recompensed. Their delightful art is practised by so many rich people for amusement, that little advantage is to be made by those who practise it for profit; because the persons who should naturally be their best customers supply themselves with all their most precious productions.

-- Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (1776), Bk I, Ch. XI, Pt. I,
Adam Smith on the power of personal wealth - money only confers power if you spend it (by highlight):

"Wealth, as Mr. Hobbes says, is power. But the person who either acquires, or succeeds to a great fortune, does not necessarily acquire or succeed to any political power, either civil or military. His fortune may, perhaps, afford him the means of acquiring both, but the mere possession of that fortune does not necessarily convey to him either. The power which that possession immediately and directly conveys to him, is the power of purchasing; a certain command over all the labour, or over all the produce of labour, which is then in the market. His fortune is greater or less, precisely in proportion to the extent of this power; or to the quantity either of other men's labour, or, what is the same thing, of the produce of other men's labour, which it enables him to purchase or command. The exchangeable value of everything must always be precisely equal to the extent of this power which it conveys to its owner. "

Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, 1776, Book 1, Chapter 5 "Of the Real and Nominal Price of Commodities, or their Price in Labour, and their Price in Money",

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Hell with the fires out.

-- General Alfred Sully's description of the Dakotas after he patrolled the area in 1864. Quoted in Writer's Almanac, 2 November 2005