My Favorite Quotations

 Here are some of my favorite quotes, also posted on my facebook page:

Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty.
Daniel Burnham


Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character had abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and courage which it contained.
John Stuart Mill

The economic role of the state has managed to hold the attention of scholars for over two centuries without arousing their curiosity.
George Stigler

That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.
Henry David Thoreau

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead

I told the boss, "You think business is mathematics. It’s not math, it’s chemistry."
Arnie Weissmann (paraphrased)

The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither. The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great measure of both.
Milton Friedman

The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.
Winston Churchill

Hayek’s work on price theory is central to my own thinking about how to manage the Wikipedia project.
Jimmy Wales

We make our tools, and then they shape us.
Kenneth Boulding

No financial man will ever understand business because financial people think a company makes money. A company makes shoes, and no financial man understands that. They think money is real. Shoes are real.
Peter Drucker

Every great idea contains the seed of its own destruction.
(I cannot find a source for this quote from Mr. Smith’s high school history class; I believe it was a British Historian.)

It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out nor more doubtful of success nor more dangerous to handle than to initiate a new order of things; for the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order; this lukewarmness arising partly from the incredulity of mankind who does not truly believe in anything new until they actually have experience of it.
Niccolo Machiavelli