Ponderables quotes worth talking about
It would be some consolation for the feebleness of our selves and our works if all things should perish as slowly as they come into being; but as it is, increases are of sluggish growth, but the way to ruin is rapid.
‒ Lucius Anneaus Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, n. 91
When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.
-- George Washington Carver
From the Archdruid's blog January, 2012:
It would arguably have been better for us all if, when Edwin Drake and his men went to drill the first commercial oil well at Titusville, Pennsylvania back in 1859, they had found an ominous standing stone there carved with glowing runes:
THE BLACK GOLD IS THE BLOOD OF THE EARTH
THE FORCE IN THE BLOOD IS THE FLAME OF THE SUN
TO DRINK OF THE BLOOD IS TO MASTER THE WORLD
BUT THE FATE OF THE EARTH AND ITS BLOOD ARE ONE
From a commentary on Dmitri Orloff's blog:
The level of alienation in developed industrial societies, in Europe, North America and elsewhere, is quite staggering. People are only able to form lasting friendships in school, and are unable to become close with people thereafter with the possible exception of romantic involvements, which are often fleeting. By a certain age people become set in their ways, develop manners specific to their class, and their interactions with others become scripted and limited to socially sanctioned, commercial modes. A far-reaching, fundamental transition, such as the one we are discussing, is impossible without the ability to improvise, to be flexible—in effect, to be able to abandon who you have been and to change who you are in favor of what the moment demands. Paradoxically, it is usually the young and the old, who have nothing to lose, who do the best, and it is the successful, productive people between 30 and 60 who do the worst. It takes a certain detachment from all that is abstract and impersonal, and a personal approach to everyone around you, to navigate the new landscape.
From an interview with Jeff Bezos:
Wired, Dec 2011
There are two ways to build a successful company. One is to work very, very hard to convince customers to pay high margins. The other is to work very, very hard to be able to offer customers low margins. They both work. We're firmly in the second camp. It's difficult‒you have to eliminate defects and be very efficient.‒ pg 215
If everything you do needs to work on a three-year-time horizon, then you're competing against a lot of people. But if you're willing to invest on a seven-year time horizon, you're now competing against a fraction of those people, because very few companies are willing to do that. Just by lengthening the time horizon, you can engage in endeavors that you could never otherwise pursue...We're willing to plant seeds, let them grow‒and we're very stubborn. We say we're stubborn on vision and flexible on details.
In some cases, things are inevitable. The hard part is that you don't know how long it might take, but you know it will happen if you're patient enough...So you can do these things with conviction if you are long-term oriented and patient. ‒ pg 244
Walt: The version of this thought that comes to mind is the observation that all things come to those who wait, and who work hard while they wait.
Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era
by Amory B. Lovins
The old fire was dug from below. The new fire flows from above.
The old fire was scarce. The new fire is bountiful.
The old fire was local. The new fire is permanent.
And except for a little biofuel, biogas, and biomass, all grown in ways that sustain and endure, the new fire is flameless‒providing all the convenient and dependable services of the old fire but with no combustion...
Efficiently used, the new fire can do our work without working our undoing.
Oak: The Frame of Civilization
by William Bryant Logan
Memory, reason and skill are God's three gifts to human beings, and the simultaneous activity of the three might just be a requirement to become and remain a human being.
Craft is a school of patience. Patience is what you acquire by working again and again on resistant materials. There is never a right or wrong, only a closer and closer approach to wholly useful.‒pg 181
Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 71