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Writing

Quotes - May 2015

Alexei Muravsky

 
 
It was more likely that those moments away from the Standard Oil command post were spent with his family; Rockefeller would be at home, bearing up genially under his father’s eccentricities, holding hands fondly with his mother at the dinner table, pecking his wife on the forehead, and playing blindman’s buff and other games with his children. The family was not an encumbrance to be made bearable by a harem of mistresses and other amusements. It was the first and final line of defense. Building the family was as important as building the great corporation. In fact, the corporation was being built for the family.
— Peter Collier & David Horowitz, The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty

 
The laws of action were determined far more by the positions within the overall configuration than by the free will of the actors. This too was a feature of the situation. It therefore seems to us paradoxical, contrary to all the expectations we have of the human capacity for action. Yet we all know that such situations arise from time to time… Even in politics much is decided not by the actors, but through them. The total effect of their interaction always far exceeds what they settle between themselves. One must therefore take a more detached view and study the process of the crisis as such if one wishes to understand its seemingly paradoxical outcome…
— Christian Meier, Caesar

Great men are necessary for our life, in order that the movement of world history can free itself sporadically, by fits and starts, from obsolete ways of living and inconsequential talk.
— Jacob Burckhardt

Our only limitations are those we set up in our own minds.
— Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

 
This internal discoursing; it’s a by-product of all the counselling I got from Tom. He emphasized basic truths: you are not dying yet, you have to live your life until you are. Underpinning them was the belief that the grim reality of impending death can be talked away by trying to invest in the present reality of life. I didn’t believe that at the time, but now I do. By definition, you have to live until you die. Better to make that life as complete and enjoyable an experience as possible, in case death is shite, which I suspect it will be.
— Irvine Welsh via Davie, Trainspotting

 
Although both sexes are equally jealous overall, studies have shown that men’s jealousy, far more than women’s, is activated specifically by signals of sexual infidelity, suggesting one solution to the problem of paternity uncertainty (Buss et al., 1992; SchÜtzwohl, 2008). Once activated, men’s jealousy motivates behaviour designed to repel a rival or to dissuade a mate from infidelity. The fact that men’s jealousy is especially triggered by cues to sexual infidelity points to a facet of men’s psychology that corresponds to a sex-linked adaptive problem – that of uncertainty of parenthood.
— Dr. David Buss, Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind (4th Edition)

Cardio is confidence.
— M.A., Headrush Training Centre

Patriotism has nothing to do with Conservatism. It is actually the opposite of Conservatism, since it is a devotion to something that is always changing and yet is felt to be mystically the same. It is the bridge between the future and the past. No real revolutionary has ever been an internationalist.
— George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn, Why I Write

Meyer Lansky: Mr. Thompson, I realize…
Enoch Thompson [1]: He’s good for up to a million.
ML: Thank you, but no. I’m asking you don’t extend him any more credit.
ET: Is he not good for it?
ML: Of course he is, but everyone hits a rough patch now and again.
ET: Is that what it is?
ML: He’s a great man, A.R. [2], but he doesn’t like to lose.
ET: Nobody likes to, but we all have to learn how. The Tampa deal, I’m taking it off the table.
ML: If it’s a matter of money…
ET: It’s not. I can’t rely on a man so blinded by his obsession with winning. Tell him I’ll find a new partner.
ML: Would the terms of your proposal be the same?
ET: For who?
ML: For me.
ET: Without Rothstein?
ML: Mr. Rothstein is not my boss. We share some business dealings…
ET: Tell me something about yourself.
ML: I’m a businessman… Charlie and I have partnered in several high-level endeavours…
ET: No, about yourself. What kind of man you are.
ML: When I was a boy, my father moved us from Russia to the Lower East Side. He was weak, my father. Never stood up. One day on my way to school, I got stopped by a gang of older boys. The leader said he wanted my lunch money. I told him to go fuck himself. He laughed. Said he’d beat it out of me. So I spit in his face. He did beat me. They all did. And they took my money. Next day, same thing. Again, I spit in his face, again we fought. But the third day, the kid asked me to join his gang. He was Charlie Luciano. That’s how we teamed up. Last year we made more money than the President of the United States. And I think you’ll find us to be responsible partners both here or in Florida should you feel the need for eyes on your investment.
ET: $500,000.
ML: Done.
ET: In 48 hours.
ML: Done.
ET: The money doesn’t show, this conversation didn’t happen and it won’t ever happen again.
— Boardwalk Empire, Season 4, Episode 4

Le secret des grandes fortunes sans cause apparente est un crime oublié, parce qu’il a été proprement fait.
— Honoré de Balzac

Notes:

1. Enoch Thompson was a real person, but they changed his name for the show. His real name was Enoch L. Johnson. Meyer Lansky and his partner Charlie "Lucky" Luciano were real people, the names used in the show are the ones they used in real life - although americanized. 

2. A.R. stands for Arnold Rothstein, another real person that makes his appearance in American history - a so called mentor for the younger Lansky & Luciano.


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