"I think a life properly lived is just learn, learn, learn all the time."
"Our universe might have slid into equilibrium emitting nothing more than a quiet hiss. The fact that it spawned such plentitude is a miracle..."
Ted Chiang, Exhalation
"Markets, property rights, and trade provide a very powerful set of tools for coordinating the activities of a multitude of individual actors. But their functioning requires some way of defining property rights so that most of the effect of my actions is born by me, my property, and some reasonably small and identifiable set of other people.
"If there is no way of defining property rights that meets that requirement, we have a problem.
The alternative institutions — courts, tort law, government regulation, intergovernmental negotiations ... work very poorly
. The more dispersed the effects, the worse they work.
"If technological changes result in making actions with such dispersed effects play a much larger role in our lives ... we have a problem for which no known institutions provide a reasonably good solution."
David Friedman, Future Imperfect
"Life colonized the energy gradients: plants put themselves between sun and stone; animals put themselves between plants and decay. Criminals infiltrated casinos like vines on a tree."
Derek Künsken, The Quantum Magician
"When you understand the power of honest praise (as opposed to bullshitting, flattery, and sucking up), you realize that withholding it borders on immoral. If you see something that impresses you, a decent respect to humanity insists you voice your praise."
Scott Adams, How to Fail at Everything and Still Win Big
"A pressure wave that moves the eardrum by less than the width of an atom will activate the ossicles and reach the brain as sound. You genuinely cannot improve upon that. As the acoustics scientist Mike Goldsmith has put it, “If we could hear quieter sounds still, we would live in a world of continuous noise, because the omnipresent random motion of air molecules would be audible. Our hearing really could not get any better.”"
Bill Bryson, The Body
"It was their good fortune, or else their misery, to belong to a generation in which every individual would be given a chance to discover and expose his worth, down to the final ounce of strength and nerve."
Shelby Foote, The Civil War