“I [suspect] that we are throwing more and more of our resources, including the cream of our youth, into financial activities remote from the production of goods and services, into activities that generate high private rewards disproportionate to their social productivity. I suspect that the immense power of the computer is being harnessed to this ‘paper economy’, not to do the same transactions more economically but to balloon the quantity and variety of financial exchanges.”James Tobin, July 1984
“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”Peter Drucker
A blogger named James Clear wrote a great piece on the Pareto Principle which contains this quote. It’s worth a read.
Greg LeMond is a former professional cyclist who has won the Tour de France three times. He knows a thing or two about pushing oneself to the extreme of their capabilities. Despite having been one of the fastest bicyclists in the world, LeMond spoke the truth when he said
“It never gets easier, you only go faster.” -Greg LeMond
While I do not race road bicycles, I know exactly what LeMond is talking about. The pain one feels during their first exercise is the exact same pain that they will encounter during their 1,000th exercise. The pain never goes away. Instead, one feels the same pain but at a faster pace or higher number of repetitions.
This quote also hints at the idea that making progress on an activity is reliant on one’s ability to embrace pain.
“There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism … the one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans, or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic … There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.” -Theodore Roosevelt (Columbus Day, 1915)
President Woodrow Wilson, well-known for holding racist views against African-Americans, unsurprisingly espouses similar views:
“I want to say— I cannot say too often— any man who carries a hyphen about with him carries a dagger that he is ready to plunge into the vitals of this Republic whenever he gets ready. If I can catch a man with a hyphen in this great contest, I will know that I have got an enemy of the Republic.” -Woodrow Wilson (September 25, 1919)
It is incredibly saddening to realize that the xenophobic views expressed by presidents in the early 1900s are no different than the views expressed by the current president in 2018, more than 100 years later. Diversity brings strength while homogeneity breeds weakness.
“The only way to defeat Communism in the world is to do a better and smoother job of production and distribution. Let’s make it a clean race, a determined race, but above all a peaceful race in the service of humanity. The source of all of our mistakes is fear [and not understanding the Others, as human beings]. Russia fears Anglo-Saxon encirclement. We fear Communist penetration. Out of fear, the Great Nations have been acting like cornered beasts, thinking only of survival. The Common People of the world will not tolerate imperialism, even under enlightened Anglo-Saxon atomic bomb auspices. The destiny of the English-speaking people is to serve the world, not dominate it.”
-Henry A. Wallace