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.
The obscurest epoch is today.
For diminishing returns read philosophy; for network effects read history.
Humanity stayed poor through centuries of philosophy, and got rich when Watt perfected the steam engine.
Great general causes, in history, are the tinder: chance is the match.
I want to visit the future to see how many parodies have entered the history books.
It is the disappearance of slavery in reality that has caused its profusion in metaphor.
The Puritans labored, not to persuade God to elect them — that was decided — but to show the neighbors that He had. Status trumps Grace.
Historical figures are vectors, with magnitude and direction.
Man begins by treating objects as agents; then he grows scientific, and treats agents as objects.
The cure for whoring after the new is to learn how old it is.