Complexity appeals to stupid people — it makes them feel superior intellectually, even if they’re making no real progress.

Mark Rippetoe


The man who really thinks he has an idea will always try to explain that idea. The charlatan who has no idea will always confine himself to explaining that it is much too subtle to be explained. The first idea may really be very outré or specialist; it may really be very difficult to express to ordinary people. But because the man is trying to express it, it is most probable that there is something in it, after all. The honest man is he who is always trying to utter the unutterable, to describe the indescribable; but the quack lives not by plunging into mystery, but by refusing to come out of it.

— G. K. Chesterton, “The Mystagogue


I like William James because he speaks of his “raids into philosophy.” He considers common life — a day in Saratoga, for instance — his real feeding ground, and only conducts raids into philosophy to find out what he can get out of it. His mind was far too curious for it to be shut up behind the gray plastered walls of philosophy. I believe I can understand what the professors are talking about in their long words, but I like to see occasional sallies of real insight and horse sense.

— Lin Yutang, The Pleasures of a Nonconformist