• "A 'bigoteer': someone who seeks to profit from calling other people bigots, whether it be sexist, racist, etc."
  • "Guilt is society programming you so effectively that you are your own warden."
  • “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.”
  • "The highest form of status is to not care."
  • “Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners.”
  • "If you wanted to create a mental setting for slaves, you would convince them that today doesn't matter.  They're always working for tomorrow."
  • "'Consensus' is just another way of saying 'average'."
  • "The smart take from the strong."
  • "A hard-working person is often too busy to spot what's really significant."
  • "Tyranny is an informal alliance between the elites and a mob."
  • "They will envy you for your success, your wealth, for your intelligence, for your looks, for your status - but rarely for your wisdom."
  • “You will be civilized on the day you can spend a long period doing nothing, learning nothing, and improving nothing, without feeling the slightest amount of guilt.”
  • "An expert is an ordinary fellow from another town."
  • "Whenever the word 'should' creeps up in your mind, it’s guilt or social programming. Doing something because you 'should' basically means you don’t actually want to do it."
  • "We have been conditioned to prove our worth by enduring pain."
  • "For a healthy society: free markets, free minds."
  • "It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
  • “Bureaucracy is a construction by which a person is conveniently separated from the consequences of his or her actions.”
  • "iPhones are here to distract us from how old everything is getting."
  • "She was a triumph over ugliness, so often more beguiling than real beauty, if only because it contains paradox. In this case, as opposed to the scrupulous method of plain good taste and scientific grooming, the trick had been worked by exaggerating defects; she'd made them ornamental by admitting them boldly."
  • "All systems insulated from feedback from free markets or natural forces eventually get corrupted."
  • "Only in recent history has 'working hard' signaled pride rather than shame for lack of talent, finesse, and, mostly, sprezzatura."
  • "It's tough to fight your genes."
  • "If we take man as he is, we make you worse, but if we take man, as he should be, we make him capable of becoming what he can be."
  • "'No' is a complete sentence."
  • "If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us."
  • "The best way to predict the future is to invent it."
  • "Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please."
  • "The average man does not want to be free. He simply wants to be safe."
  • "High-status Americans walk the 50's and talk the 60's."
  • "Heroes are heroes because they are heroic in behavior, not because they won or lost."
  • “The best explanation for the good old days is a bad memory.”
  • "Notifications are just alarm clocks that someone else is setting for you."
  • "It is amazing how much panic one honest man can spread among a multitude of hypocrites."
  • "It is not greed that drives the world, but envy."
  • "The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it."
  • "Those who are determined to be ‘offended’ will discover a provocation somewhere. We cannot possibly adjust enough to please the fanatics, and it is degrading to make the attempt."
  • "Duty largely consists of pretending that the trivial is critical."
  • "Society believes in journeys. Society believes in endless treatments forever. Practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice forever. When the whole game has been set up to practice forever, then there is no conclusion. There is no arrival of anything."
  • "Trust and attention - these are the scare items in a post-scarcity world."
  • “We have created a Star Wars civilization, with Stone Age emotions, medieval institutions, and godlike technology.”
  • "Management is telling people what to do; leadership is getting them to want to do it themselves."
  • “The biggest mistake you can make is to accept the norms of your time. Not accepting norms is where you innovate. Not accepting norms is the secret to really big success and changing the world.”
  • "Loneliness is a kind of tax you have to pay to atone for a certain complexity of mind."
  • "Random violence makes the news precisely because it is so rare; routine kindness does not make the news precisely because it is so commonplace."
  • "The unconflicted person opens a space in which he allows other to express forbidden impulses and secret wishes."
  • "Socialism: great idea. Wrong species."
  • "In excess, most things take on the characteristics of their opposite. Thus: Pacifists become militants. Freedom fighters become tyrants. Blessings become curses. Help becomes hindrance. More becomes less."
  • "Aggressively conventional-minded people are responsible for a disproportionate amount of the trouble in the world, and...a lot of the customs we've evolved since the Enlightenment have been designed to protect the rest of us from them."
  • "Societies prosper only to the extent that they have customs for keeping the conventional-minded at bay."
  • "Nothing is more powerful than a community of talented people working on related problems. Genes count for little by comparison: being a genetic Leonardo was not enough to compensate for having been born near Milan instead of Florence."
  • "Buy it right or buy it twice."
  • "The central conservative insight is that culture matters more than politics. The central liberal insight is that politics can change culture."
  • "The oldest pattern in human history is 'Here’s a problem. And here’s a bunch of people who are different than us. Let’s blame it on them.'"
  • “One of the great paradoxes of human development is that we are required to make crucial choices before we have the knowledge, judgment, and self-understanding to choose wisely. Yet if we put off these choices until we truly feel ready, the delay may produce other, greater costs.”
  • "The conventional-minded are often fooled by the strength of their opinions into believing that they're independent-minded. But strong convictions are not a sign of independent-mindedness. Rather the opposite."
  • "Helpful people don’t ask 'how can I help?' They just help."
  • “The world needs bad men. We keep the other bad men from the door.”
  • "In everyone there is some willingness to merge with the anonymous crowd and to flow comfortably along with it down the river of pseudo-life."
  • "The adult games are very cleverly-designed: you can keep playing them infinitely."
  • "There is a tradition which we have inherited from Edmund Burke and the reaction to the French Revolution of recognizing that there is an alternative to revolutionary change, and that is not changing."
  • "Home is where people notice when you're not there."
  • “Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.”
  • "I didn't realize that the reason we nerds didn't fit in was that in some ways we were a step ahead. We were already thinking about the kind of things that matter in the real world, instead of spending all our time playing an exacting but mostly pointless game like the others."
  • "To launch a taboo, a group has to be poised halfway between weakness and power. A confident group doesn't need taboos to protect it."
  • "The superficial demands of orthodoxy make it an inexpensive substitute for virtue. And that in turn is one of the reasons orthodoxy is so attractive to bad people. You could be a horrible person, and yet as long as you're orthodox, you're better than everyone who isn't."
  • "Luxury beliefs are ideas and opinions that confer status on the rich at very little cost, while taking a toll on the lower class."
  • "Half the distinguishing qualities of the eminent are actually disadvantages."
  • "It's better to regret not having children, than to regret having them."