Archive for January 31, 2013

Quotes For Entrepreneurs–January 2013

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Quotes, skmurphy

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“People who sacrifice to achieve their goals slowly while maintaining their responsibilities are less impressive at first glance, but more impressive after more thought.”
John D. Cook in “Extreme Change is Easier

See also “Change or Die

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“Focus on understanding why the system is doing what it’s doing, rather than why it’s not doing what you wanted it to.”
John Guttag

h/t Jon Udell in “Computational Thinking and Life Skills

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“To remind a man of the good turns you have done him is very much like  a reproach.”
Demosthenes

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“History is not another name for the past. It is the name for stories about the past.”
Alan John Percivale Taylor

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“If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”
Stein’s Law (Herbert Stein)

Used as opening quote for “Stein’s Law.

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“Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes.”
Antisthenes

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“Creativity is the defeat of habit by originality.”
Arthur Koestler

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“At least at first, the new thing is rarely as good as the old thing was.  If you need the alternative to be better than the status quo from the  very start, you’ll never begin.”
Seth Godin in “Tribes

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“When the oak is felled the whole forest echoes with its fall, but a hundred acorns are sown in silence by an unnoticed breeze.”
Thomas Carlyle

Used as a closing quote in “Distant Early Warning Signs of Market Disruption

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“It is an inherent property of intelligence that it can jump out of a task which it is performing and survey what it has done…”
Douglas Hofstadter

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“The map appears more real to us than the land.”
D. H. Lawrence

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“The frontiers of the future will be the ruins of the unsustainable.”
Bruce Sterling

This version of the quote is due to a July 2012 talk “What Will Matter in the Future” by Stowe Boyd, I like it but further research shows that what Sterling said, at least initially, was probably  “The ruins of the unsustainable are the 21st century’s frontier.” This has been quoted in various forms:

  • In a comment (#9) by Sterling in Jan-2009 as a part of his “State of the World 2009″ he says (bold added):

    In my futurist book TOMORROW NOW I was speculating that there might be a post-national global new order arising in cities. Cities as laboratories of the post-Westphalian order. […] Let’s just predict that in 2009 we’re gonna see a whole lot of contemporary urbanism going on. Digital cities. Cities There For You to Use. Software for cities. Googleable cities. Cities with green power campaigns. Location-aware cities. Urban co-ops. “Informal housing.” “Architecture fiction.” The ruins of the unsustainable as the new frontier.

  • In May of 2008 Sterling wrote a post “The Post American World”  including a line “The ruins of the unsustainable are the 21st century’s frontier.”
  • Cited in Jan 2008 by Alex Steffen in the “Ruins of the Unsustainable” as a fall 2007 comment by Sterling as “The ruins of the unsustainable are the 21st century’s frontier.”
  • Used in 2006 as a title by Sterling for two posts in his “Beyond the Beyond” blog at Wired

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“Wisdom is having things right in your life and knowing why.”
William Edgar Stafford

These are the first two lines of  “The Little Ways That Encourage Good Fortune” from his “Stories That Could Be True: New and Collected Poems (1977).” The full poem is used as the opening quotation for “The Lucky And The Wise

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“The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue.”
Antisthenes

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“It’s hard to detect good luck–it looks so much like something you’ve earned.”
Frank A. Clark

Used as the closing quote for “The Lucky And The Wise

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“Technology is the name we have for stuff that doesn’t work yet.”
Danny Hillis

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“I had been given a map which failed to show many things I could see right in front of my eyes.”
E. F. Schumacher

A different flavor of  the Map-Territory relation than Alfred Korzybski‘s “The map is not the territory” or this D.H. Lawrence’s “The map appears more real to us than the land.” Here is a longer excerpt from the opening paragraphs E. F Schumacher’s  “A Guide for the Perplexed.”

On a visit to Leningrad some years ago I consulted a map to find out where I was, but I could not make it out. From where I stood, I could see several enormous churches, yet there was not trace of them on my  map. When finally an interpreter came to help me, he said: “We don’t show churches on our maps.” Contradicting him I pointed to one that was very clearly marked. “That is a museum,” he said, ” not what we  call a ‘living church.’ It is only the ‘living churches’ that we don’t show.”

It then occurred to me that this was not the first time I had been given a map which failed to show many things I could see right in front of my eyes.

I used this as the closing quote for “Ebb and Flow

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“I’m not delusional, I am an entrepreneur.”
Hugh MacLeod in “I’m not delusional, I am an entrepreneur.

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“I have gradually come to appreciate that the really important predictions are about the present. What is happening right now, and what is its significance?”
Robert Lucky

Here is a longer excerpt for more context from his “The Ephemeral Now” essay (bold added).

I confess that I used to be a futurist. I would predict things, and people would sometimes pay attention as if I really knew something about what would happen in technology. I was seldom right. But in the futurism business you’re rarely found out, because by the time the future arrives, people have forgotten your misguided predictions. Still, I gave up on futurism. […] However, through the years I have gradually come to appreciate that the really important predictions are about the present. What is happening right now, and what is its significance? The Internet’s progression from static to streaming—and solitary to social—has not only made predicting the present possible, it has redefined the whole concept of what we mean by ”right now.”

These are two different questions, one related to situational awareness and one to sensemaking. Both are critical to understanding, anticipating, and acting correctly. All of Lucky’s essays from IEEE Spectrum are collected at “IEEE Reflections columns by Robert Lucky

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Two Sides of a River
Nasrudin was sitting on a river bank.
Someone shouted to him from the opposite side: “Hey, how do I get across?”
“You are across,” Nasrudin shouted back.

Idries Shah in “The Subtleties of the Inimitable Nasrudin” [Octagon Press]

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“It’s not so much knowing when to speak, as when to pause.”
Jack Benny

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“Don’t confuse having a solution with knowing what the problem is.”
Torbjörn Gyllebring @drunkcod

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