Each great upheaval of history that now seems to us inevitable came to nearly everyone who lived through it as a complete surprise.
The obscurest epoch is today.
Aristocracies die with the disappearance of their duties, not their privileges.
However many stages history is divided into, ours is always second to last.
Civilizations expire, unnoticed, in a rabble of compilers, curators, connoisseurs, encyclopedists, mashers-up, aficionados.
History, in one sense, is a succession of ever-widening protection rackets.
It defeats the purpose of remembering someone’s name to look pleased with yourself for having done so.
Futurist, n. Jumped-up presentist; Whig gone wild.
It was not so long ago that enthusiasm was regarded as a fatal weakness of character.
The belief that one is entirely self-created has been possible only in a very few times and places. It is an accident of circumstance.
For diminishing returns read philosophy; for network effects read history.