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Some selected quotes

September 28th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Life/Politics · No Comments · Life, Politics

I just had a look at the ‘My Clippings’ section on my Kindle and seen all the bits of text that I have highlighted over the years. Some of them are quite random, but a few are worth dwelling on.First up, from Crisis? What Crisis?: Britain in the 1970s by Alwyn Turner

‘Britain is a miserable sight. A society of failures, full of apathy, and aroused only by envy at the success of others,’ reflected Wilson’s policy advisor, Bernard Donoughue. ‘This is why we will continue to decline. Not because of our economic or industrial problems. They are soluble. But because the psychology of our people is in such an appalling – I fear irretrievable – state. Meanness has replaced generosity. Envy has replaced endeavour. Malice is the most common motivation.’

Blimey. That last bit could so easily describe what is going on now. I wonder what he thinks about the current situation? Mind you, he believes global warming is made up and was against banning fox hunting, so has not always been right.

From Distraction Pieces by Scroobius Pip in the interview/conversation with Saul Williams:

Oftentimes we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors and oftentimes we stand on their necks.

No idea what that means, but it sounds good.

From Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler

Voters, by the way, seem to rely primarily on their Automatic System. A candidate who makes a bad first impression, or who tries to win votes by complex arguments and statistical demonstrations, may well run into trouble.

I think that Jonathan Haidt makes the same point, at great length, in his book The Righteous Mind. Basically it is the depressing theory that you win by having a better soundbite, regardless of the truth behind it, which all sounds a bit like the £350M a week bus to me.

From The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed the World by Michael Lewis

People often work hard to obtain information they already have and avoid new knowledge

and

It is amazing how dull history books are, given how much of what’s in them must be invented

I can’t recommend that book highly enough. It is the perfect companion to Kahnemann’s Thinking Fast and Slow and a much livelier read than you would imagine, given the subject.

And now some insightful political commentary from Johnny Rotten/John Lydon from his book Anger is an Energy: My Life Uncensored.

Times have moved on and you’ve had a very cold-hearted Conservative government – a coalition in name, but it’s just two cunts for the price of one.

I can’t believe that I didn’t highlight more bits than that from the book because it is hilarious in places.

From How To Be Right by James O’Brien

And dominant elements of the media stoke those fears because it has always been easier and more lucrative to sell tickets for the ghost train than for the speak-your-weight machine.

Making a similar point to the Richard Thaler/Jonathan Haidt one, but in a much more striking way.

And finally one of my favourite quotes of all time. I know it is a favourite because I found that I had highlighted it twice because the story it comes from is contained in two different omnibus volumes that I have read on the Kindle. From the mighty pen of P.G. Wodehouse:

She fitted into my biggest armchair as if it had been built round her by someone who knew they were wearing armchairs tight about the hips that season.

 

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