why I read

“It is in books, poems, paintings which often give us the confidence to take seriously feelings in ourselves that we might otherwise never have thought to acknowledge.”

Alain de Botton, The Architecture of Happiness

the folly of familiarity

Based on the first performance of “Stairway to Heaven,” one would never know it would become such a huge hit. The band introduced audiences to the song before the fourth album was released. Bassist John Paul Jones said of one audience who heard it live, “They were all bored to tears waiting to hear something they knew.”

Michael A. Schuman

H/T: Seth

what have you got to show for it?

In Toni Morrison’s novel Sula, in a conversation between embittered former friends, the protagonist Sula declares, “I sure did live in this world.”

“Really? What have you got to show for it?”

“Show? To who?”

– Tim Harford

why I’m successful

Michael Batnick:

I’m successful because I don’t yearn for more. I have my wife and my boys and my freedom. I’m good. I have a unique appreciation of what I have because I already lost everything when my mother died. Now I have everything I need and everything I want.

an unfortunate rumour


Haiti’s former president Papa Doc, for example, ordered all black dogs in the country to be put to death because it was rumoured that one of his fugitive enemies had transformed himself into one.