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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Thomas Sowell: 10 great quotes

1. "It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance."

2. "Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it."

3. "Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good."

4. "Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late."

5. "The problem isn't that Johnny can't read. The problem isn't even that Johnny can't think. The problem is that Johnny doesn't know what thinking is: he confuses it with feeling."

6. "The black family survived centuries of slavery and generations of Jim Crow, but it has disintegrated in the wake of the liberals' expansion of the welfare state."

7. "The welfare state is not really about the welfare of the masses. It is about the egos of the elites."

8. "I have never understood why it is 'greed' to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else's money."

9. "No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems — of which getting elected and re-elected are number one and number two. Whatever is number three is far behind."

10. "People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything."

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71 Comments:

Blogger Jason Lee December 28, 2016 11:19 AM  

#3 and #10!

Anonymous fop December 28, 2016 11:20 AM  

10. "People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything."

God there is so much wisdom packed into those 11 words.

Blogger Derek Kite December 28, 2016 11:24 AM  

1. The smartest people I've run across have insatiable curiosity. Not knowing something is obvious. The solution is also obvious.

Blogger allyn71 December 28, 2016 11:28 AM  

Amen!

Blogger dc.sunsets December 28, 2016 11:29 AM  

Timeless wisdom, and more proof that people in the aggregate are incapable of learning anything at all, or anything lasting, about social organization.

History is thus a patterned fractal of advancement & consolidation/decline that is unresponsive to human intervention. Ideas & motivations both good and bad will have their periods of ascendancy, and nothing "we" learn will ever change that.

Blogger 2Bfree December 28, 2016 11:39 AM  

My Favorite

"If you are not prepared to use force to defend civilization, then be prepared to accept barbarism." —Thomas Sowell

Blogger William Hudson December 28, 2016 11:41 AM  

NUMBER TEN, that's for DAMNED SURE! I just love the good doctor's take on reality!

Blogger Al From Bay Shore December 28, 2016 11:49 AM  

#6! Along with integration and feminism, #6 is part of the triple whammy that killed the Black community. And to this day, popular Black culture is in complete denial about this. In fact, they'll fight tooth and nail to preserve these destructive institutions.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 December 28, 2016 11:59 AM  

Anyone who doesn't own a copy of "Basic Economics" needs to buy it.

And make your teenage children read it.

Anonymous BBGKB December 28, 2016 12:03 PM  

#5 & #10 I know women who would hold meetings all day every day if they could get away with it.

Ideas & motivations both good and bad will have their periods of ascendancy, and nothing "we" learn will ever change that.

If the internet stays free & we keep pandemics from crossing our borders we may have a chance. Just imagine if all of the financial scams Martin Luther identified had been taught widespread, the elite would have to create new ones over the past 500+ years.

Along with integration and feminism, #6 is part of the triple whammy that killed the Black community.

Afro centrism, which is taught in inner city schools, that tells blacks that they had airplanes and electricity when white people lived in caves is probably more poisonous. Its the exact opposite message of hearing how Dr Ben Carson worked hard to achieve.

OT: The movie about to come out called Hidden Figures portrays NASA as needing to rely on dozens of black women programmers, probably more than could be counted competent today. The trailer has lots of white men praising Dorothy Vaughan, even claimed she INVENTED THE MATH that put white men on the moon.

Blogger Ken Prescott December 28, 2016 12:13 PM  

#10.

After an intensely trying series of meetings that accomplished absolutely nothing, a very witty cow-orker sent an email: "The meetings will continue until morale improves."

Anonymous Christopher December 28, 2016 12:15 PM  

His entire 9/11 column (September 13, 2001), was great.

"Magic words like "diversity" evade the brutal reality of what Balkanization actually means, whether in the Balkans, the Middle East, Rwanda, Sri Lanka or other places where "identity" rules supreme and its price is paid in never-ending streams of blood."

Blogger Jack Ward December 28, 2016 12:17 PM  

Priceless!
Would that our first black president could have been Sowell.

Anonymous Avalanche December 28, 2016 12:18 PM  

@10 "The movie about to come out called Hidden Figures ..."

Quote from:
https://www.amren.com/news/2016/12/hyped-figures-john-glenn-pc-myth-katherine-johnson-unsung-black-women-not-got-us-moon/

But the recent canonization of Katherine Johnson and her "untold contributions to NASA's incredible achievements (think about it: the Wright brothers were the first humans to fly in 1903, NASA landed men on the moon only 66 years later) stretches credulity.

Why isn't Johnson mentioned in John Glenn's "John Glenn: A Memoir" or Alan Shepard's "Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America's Race to the Moon"?
Why does Charles Murray not mention her in his seminal book on the Apollo program (co-authored with Katherine Murray), "Apollo: Race to the Moon"?
Why is Johnson not mentioned in Tom Wolfe's epic "The Right Stuff," documenting the sensational story of NASA's first astronaut group, the all-white Mercury 7.
Why, especially oddly, is Johnson not mentioned in "We Could Not Fail: The First African Americans in the Space Program"?
Why was Johnson not mentioned in either Jet or Ebony magazine, two black magazines that spent the 1960s and 1970s simultaneously lamenting the lack of blacks at NASA and celebrating any minor achievements of blacks in the space program.

Blogger Tom Kratman December 28, 2016 12:23 PM  

Number 10: I have long thought that a prerequisite to a military commission should involve being hooked up to some version of a lie detector and then be forced to sit through an interminable meeting. Those whose psychic distress at this doesn't manifest itself as a strong physical distress should be thereafter forever barred from military leadership.

(Personally, as a commander, I made do very nicely with one meeting a week, timed to last no more than one hour, and when the alarm went off whoever was speaking, even myself, shut up.)

Blogger Deadmau5 Patton December 28, 2016 12:23 PM  

That was a great selection of quotes. I've read a few of his articles but I think I'll need to go back and read a lot more of Sowell's works now.

Blogger dc.sunsets December 28, 2016 12:26 PM  

@ BGKB, If the internet stays free & we keep pandemics from crossing our borders we may have a chance. Just imagine if all of the financial scams Martin Luther identified had been taught widespread, the elite would have to create new ones over the past 500+ years.

I wish I could share your optimism.

Charles Mackay's timeless 1841 chronicle of popular delusions is widely available, often cited and universally ignored.

Human social behavior is a fixture of biology, not learning. Given enough time, all wisdom is eventually rejected in favor of some extraordinary popular delusion or another.

Humans are not Star Trek's Vulcans. This is yet another reason no machine will ever think like a human. Mimic, possibly, but emotions are not logic.

Blogger dc.sunsets December 28, 2016 12:29 PM  

(Personally, as a commander, I made do very nicely with one meeting a week, timed to last no more than one hour, and when the alarm went off whoever was speaking, even myself, shut up.)
Any truth to the claim that PowerPoint is the bane of the Pentagon?

Blogger dc.sunsets December 28, 2016 12:32 PM  

This is also why positing one social organization as optimal for all people and all times is idiotic. Humanity is not on a path to some sort of eventual Nirvana, or the human construction of the kingdom of heaven on Earth.

Those who espouse such a belief are extremely dangerous fools or knaves.

Blogger Student in Blue December 28, 2016 12:42 PM  

Perhaps a rule of thumb could be, if a meeting lasts longer than an hour, it's instead a knitting circle.

Blogger RobertT December 28, 2016 12:47 PM  

These are great quotes. I'll to miss him although I never actually read him. He was always on my horizon as a good idea, but my political reading is limited to Trump Tweets and this blog. I personally can do nothing about what's going on in the real world, although I tried once. Now I basically ignore it as a playground of fools and discontents.

Blogger David of One December 28, 2016 12:53 PM  

Great quotes! Really great quotes! Thank you Vox.

#18 dc.sunsets

From the lowly E-1 to the high ranking officers ... whether for a meeting or for training ... "Death by PowerPoint" is the common term used by active duty personnel. It is also a shared sentiment in the civilian sector as well.

Blogger David of One December 28, 2016 1:00 PM  

2Bfree wrote:My Favorite

"If you are not prepared to use force to defend civilization, then be prepared to accept barbarism." —Thomas Sowell



Another great quote ... maybe VD will add it to the list.

Blogger bob kek mando ( NABTY ) December 28, 2016 1:07 PM  

a true Shitlord would have posted Sowell's "14 Great Quotes" ...

Blogger Cecil Henry December 28, 2016 1:11 PM  


“It’s amazing how much panic one honest man can spread among a multitude of hypocrites. ”
― Thomas Sowell


“People who pride themselves on their "complexity" and deride others for being "simplistic" should realize that the truth is often not very complicated. What gets complex is evading the truth.”

― Thomas Sowell, Barbarians inside the Gates and Other Controversial Essays

Blogger maniacprovost December 28, 2016 1:11 PM  

Powerpoint's an easy way to link together text, pictures, add some arrows pointing to things, and have it come out looking fairly professional, without resorting to writing a report in Word. And no one nitpicks powerpoints, whereas the same content on a word document will spend 6 weeks being revised and approved.

Blogger Tom Kratman December 28, 2016 1:12 PM  

@18

Define "bane." The five sided puzzle palace probably doesn't know how to do anything else - well, powerpoint and waste money, to the extent those differ - so I don't think it can be fairly called a bane.

Anonymous BBGKB December 28, 2016 1:22 PM  

I wish I could share your optimism.

That of course assumes we don't have an apocalypse of the type I usually talk about, or EMP/CME(solar storm) that could kill off 80-90% of Americans over 1 year. Knowledge spread with a currency collapse would not be optimistic, & the 2 conditions I mentioned are barely happening now.

The chance of there being Post Apocalyptic Rapist Tranny Cannibal Biker Gangs has actually gone up in the past year. http://thefederalistpapers.org/second-amendment-2/bbc-liberals-start-buying-guns-under-trump

Define "bane." The five sided puzzle palace probably doesn't know how to do anything else

Any word on how many of the perfumed princes swapped out uniforms after they passed the trannies in uniform rule?

Blogger Feather Blade December 28, 2016 1:28 PM  

@18
My brother, an Army captain, has mentioned that Army PowerPoint presentations must contain all of the information that the presenter would give to the meeting participants.

Hypothetically this should render the presenter, and indeed the meeting, superfluous, but apparently they still make people gather so that someone can read the PowerPoint to everyone in the meeting room.

Anonymous JAG December 28, 2016 1:33 PM  

8. "I have never understood why it is 'greed' to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else's money."

This is a prime example of JAG's law of left wing hypocrisy - any two left wing talking points will meet in hypocrisy. I learned during the early 90s with "meat is murder" while claiming abortion was just a parasitic clump of cells.

Anonymous Nick December 28, 2016 1:40 PM  

I voted for Dr. Sowell as a write-in for my first presidential election in 2004. It was clear by then that Bush was a traitor on amnesty. It's a shame he wasn't tapped for a government post or teaching gig while he was still in his early 70s. At least it left more time for writing. He'll leave a rich legacy for generations to come.

Blogger Jed Mask December 28, 2016 1:41 PM  

Love 'em, love 'em. Good quotes! I'm "ignorant" of the man Mr. Thomas Sowell but can look and study him up.

Hope he was a man of Faith too.

Thanks for sharing. Amen.

~ Bro. Jed

Blogger Jed Mask December 28, 2016 1:44 PM  

... Looked him up and saw. Definitely should know more about him: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Sowell

Didn't know he was *BLACK* until I saw for myself after reading someone's comment saying he should have been the first black Prez.

Definitely wouldn't deny it. Amen.

~ Bro. Jed

Anonymous St. Cecilia December 28, 2016 1:50 PM  

I was walking behind two UC Berkeley employees around 1993 when the woman turned to the man with a beatific smile on her face and said, "we're in meetings." I'd never heard that combination of words before.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash December 28, 2016 1:51 PM  

At Intel, the scheduling system will not allow you to ceate a meeting longer than 1 hour, and you can be reprimanded for consistently allowing your meetings to exceed that.

Blogger szopen December 28, 2016 1:53 PM  

Starting a meme "After Trump's two terms, Thomas Sowell!" or "Trumpsters for Sowell!" would be a nice meme weapon... or maybe not, because it could be ridiculed that "trump supporters want to get 94 y/o for a president"....

Blogger bob kek mando ( NABTY ) December 28, 2016 2:05 PM  

36. szopen December 28, 2016 1:53 PM
or maybe not, because it could be ridiculed that "trump supporters want to get 94 y/o for a president"



since when does a Shitlord care about being ridiculed?

Anonymous Jack Amok December 28, 2016 2:11 PM  

to this day, popular Black culture is in complete denial about this. In fact, they'll fight tooth and nail to preserve these destructive institutions.

Of course that's because the people running "Black popular culture" are the winners in the descent to full-blown r-culture. They're the beneficiaries of Alpha fux and government-instead-of-Beta bux. What use does Kanye West or Oprah Winfrey have for a stable, nuclear family?

Of course, when they get a little older and the younger challengers are harder to fend off, the smarter ones start to realize there might be some value, but by then it's a little late.

Blogger Cassandros the Elder December 28, 2016 2:12 PM  

One of my favorites:

It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication, and a government bureaucracy to administer it

Blogger RobertT December 28, 2016 2:19 PM  

These should be in the tool box of anyone giving speeches on a regular basis. Everyone should make them their own. There is no truer accolade for Thomas Sowell than outright mimicry.

Anonymous RA December 28, 2016 2:32 PM  

I hated staff meetings. Just did not like sitting through them ever. So of course I was promoted to management, ha ha. And forced to conduct staff meetings. What torture. I made them as short as possible, if I could get everyone out of there after 15 minutes, that's what I did. Or I would move into technical topics for open discussion but I'd cut them short if I thought they were meandering too much.

Anonymous Opus December 28, 2016 2:35 PM  

I read and was much impressed by Sowell's Visions of the Anointed. The title summarises but perhaps too well the content.

Anonymous Kranston Herbefore IV, New Canute CT December 28, 2016 2:40 PM  

Am I the only one here who remembers that Sowell is/was a #NeverTrumper? And how is Mr Sowell any different from the other pundits who's sole contribution to making America better is typing?

Blogger modsquad December 28, 2016 2:48 PM  

Kranston Herbefore IV, New Canute CT wrote:Am I the only one here who remembers that Sowell is/was a #NeverTrumper? And how is Mr Sowell any different from the other pundits who's sole contribution to making America better is typing?

Every car has a C pillar (blind spot).

Blogger szopen December 28, 2016 2:51 PM  

Kranston Herbefore IV, New Canute CT wrote:Am I the only one here who remembers that Sowell is/was a #NeverTrumper? And how is Mr Sowell any different from the other pundits who's sole contribution to making America better is typing?
Praising a guy who soon will be dead anyway seems doing no harm even if he is a NeverTrumper, and seems to be a good idea for planting a bomb inside of SJW minds when they are throwing their "you're racist!" at you.

Blogger Ingot9455 December 28, 2016 3:02 PM  

When I was at Silicon Graphics, my manager had 43 hours of scheduled meetings on her calendar in a 40-hour work week.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 December 28, 2016 3:07 PM  

Ingot9455 wrote:When I was at Silicon Graphics, my manager had 43 hours of scheduled meetings on her calendar in a 40-hour work week.

I've had bosses like that. One had to work at home just avoid meetings and get actual work done.

The main reason for excessive meetings, I've found, is largely due to indecisiveness. Most people in leadership roles are incapable of committing to the decisions they are supposed to be making.

Anonymous Dan December 28, 2016 3:09 PM  

"Am I the only one here who remembers that Sowell is/was a #NeverTrumper? And how is Mr Sowell any different from the other pundits who's sole contribution to making America better is typing?"

Sowell announced on Ben Shapiro's show that he would vote for Trump, in September, because of the Supreme Court.

http://www.dailywire.com/news/9556/breaking-thomas-sowell-against-hillary-daily-wire

In the end he was not a NeverTrumper. And his words show just how traitorous Ben Shapiro was, shooting at his own side throughout the battle from beginning to end.


Blogger bob kek mando ( NABTY ) December 28, 2016 3:22 PM  

46. Ingot9455 December 28, 2016 3:02 PM
When I was at Silicon Graphics, my manager had 43 hours of scheduled meetings on her calendar in a 40-hour work week.



you know how i know you're fibbing?

salaried management doesn't have a 40 hour work week.


47. swiftfoxmark2 December 28, 2016 3:07 PM
Most people in leadership roles are incapable of committing to the decisions they are supposed to be making.


which indicates a problem with THEIR management. if you have a subordinate manager who ... can't manage ... it's your JOB to get that cruft out of there.

hiring lots of ( non-STEM ) consultants is another prime indicator of management refusing to do their own damn jobs.

Blogger RobertT December 28, 2016 3:32 PM  

"People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything."

Now that i have the gravitas to do it, when a meeting goes long, I get up and leave. Recurring monthly meetings I send a stand-in. Everyone thinks i'm a jerk, but I don't think attending meetings would change that anyway.

Blogger Feather Blade December 28, 2016 3:34 PM  

Meetings are much more bearable if you have a printed agenda for which attendees have submitted items, in advance, and you stick to it.

Blogger liberranter December 28, 2016 3:38 PM  


10. "People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything."

Arguably eleven of the most profound words of the Twenty-First Century.

Blogger Chris Mallory December 28, 2016 3:45 PM  

Kranston Herbefore IV, New Canute CT wrote:Am I the only one here who remembers that Sowell is/was a #NeverTrumper? And how is Mr Sowell any different from the other pundits who's sole contribution to making America better is typing?

Sowell went full NeoCon right after 9/11. He didn't see a 3rd world nation he didn't want to invade.
Walter Williams has always been a better read and not as rage inducing when he would sub for Rush.

Blogger Roger Hill December 28, 2016 3:49 PM  

Like so many others, I think #10 is great.

A company I used to work for had upper management who spent more time in meetings than just about anything else. Since there were so many people to keep in the loop and so many conflicts in schedules, the meetings would cascade throughout the company, with feedback an issues also creating an upwards cascade of worthless sit downs and paw-wows.

It became something of a joke among us lower level folks - "Bill will meet with Mike and John, Mike will meet with Richard and Dave, while John will meet with Eric, Eric and Dave will then meet with Bill, blah, blah, on and on. It really did go this way. The company went belly up.

Anonymous Stoa December 28, 2016 4:37 PM  

10. "People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything."

This remains a legitimate way to sabotage organizations by bogging them down needlessly as outlined in the OSS Simple Sabotage Manual. An intact version was found in an old desk and declassified a few years back. https://www.cia.gov/news-information/featured-story-archive/2012-featured-story-archive/CleanedUOSSSimpleSabotage_sm.pdf

Blogger The Hammer December 28, 2016 4:38 PM  

"What 'multiculturalism' boils down to is that you can praise any culture in the world except Western culture - and you cannot blame any culture in the world except Western culture."
-Thomas Sowell

Blogger Snidely Whiplash December 28, 2016 4:40 PM  

In many, if not most, coporate environments, the penalty for a bad decision is, figuratively, death. The penalty for dithering, stonewalling, blame reassignment, blowing huge sums of money and outright refusing to do your job is often promotion.

Anonymous Kurt Wermheimller, Dusseldorf DE December 28, 2016 4:43 PM  

In case anyone wants the real Sowell: http://therightscoop.com/thomas-sowell-says-trump-will-discredit-conservatism-calls-for-third-party-candidate/

Blogger StrongCoffee61 December 28, 2016 4:47 PM  

#6 could be extended to include 3rd world mass immigration which has severely undermined Black labor value and employment prospects.

One year after the Civil Rights Act, Blacks were stabbed in the back by their supposed liberal allies.

Anonymous LurkingPuppy December 28, 2016 4:50 PM  

Two blatant troll turds on this post so far; it's almost like PizzaGate all over again. Clearly the cabal doesn't want us paying attention to #10.

Blogger Scott6584 December 28, 2016 5:09 PM  

Item #1 is why those with the highest intelligence SHOULD BE the most humble of all.

Blogger Michael Maier December 28, 2016 6:50 PM  

Okay, you retards:

No one is saying Dr. Sowell is/was perfect. He had some great words and we are honoring them.

So please ban yourself before Vox does it formally.

Blogger newanubis December 28, 2016 6:54 PM  

Ive had the same brother-in-law for beter than a decade now who flies 4 of 5 days per week to meetings in other states. He has the distinguished title of V.P, pulls down insane bank, and to this day, sincerely, I've no clue what he does for a living.

Anonymous Jack Amok December 28, 2016 6:58 PM  

Two blatant troll turds on this post so far; it's almost like PizzaGate all over again.

Yeah, recent comment sections have been... interesting. Between the paid trolls trying to sow dissent, the strange bedfellows finding themselves interrupting each others victory speeches at the victory celebration, and the just plain midwits unmoored by the political shifts going on, there's a lot of stupid on display.

And yet, for as dysfunctional as our victory celebration might be, we can all still laugh at the moronic shrieking emanating from the Left's bunker of defeat.

OpenID denektenorsk December 28, 2016 9:34 PM  

LOL. These are fantastic.

Blogger ThirdMonkey December 28, 2016 10:36 PM  

In regards to meetings, it's one thing for ME to waste my time, it's another thing for someone else to do that for me. If I know there's a PowerPoint, I'll get a copy from someone else who was dumb enough to go to the meeting. Meetings are nothing but vacillation and fussiness. And for women in particular, they are a form of masturbation: it makes them feel good but never results in anything productive.

Anonymous Discard December 29, 2016 12:07 AM  

28. BBGKB: Libholes buy guns because they're afraid of Dindus. Trump is just the excuse they need to justify themselves to their friends.

Anonymous Barfwiggle December 29, 2016 12:11 AM  

Powerpoints are great. Skip the meeting and watch the PPt on your computer, at your own pace. I took some classes recently and did all my note taking at home.

Anonymous Quicksilver75 December 29, 2016 1:00 AM  

Yes, these are all classics. I am going to frame them, and post above my PC. Rare is it to capture something at once profound, witty & timelessly humorous, yet TS manages this for at least 6 of the quotes.

Blogger Freelance Teacher December 29, 2016 10:06 AM  

From 'The Education of Minority Children', talking about how black schools in the pre-civil rights era were so successful:

"Most of these children did not come from middle-class families. Those who parents were in professional or white-collar occupations were less than one-tenth as numerous as those whose parents worked in "unskilled and semi-skilled" occupations.
What are the "secrets" of such successful schools?
The biggest secret is that there are no secrets, unless work is a secret. Work seems to be the only four-letter word that cannot be used in public today."

Classic. And one of the best examples of how the answer, the truth, is more simple than the millions of words wasted on education 'theory' today.

Blogger Daniel December 29, 2016 7:47 PM  

Jerk!

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