links for 2010-02-13

13 Feb
  • "I like to take risks" is not on the list. People don't choose to be entrepreneurs by opting for a riskier lifestyle. What they do, instead, is reframe the salary vs. entrepreneur choice as between two different sets of risk: the things they don't like about having a steady job — such as the risk of boredom, working for a bad boss, lack of autonomy, lack of control over your fate, and getting laid off — and the things they fear about being an entrepreneur…In the end, people who are meant to be entrepreneurs believe that their own abilities…or assets…significantly mitigate the risks of entrepreneurship. Risk is ultimately a personal assessment: what is risky for me is not risky for you.
    "I want to get rich" is not on the list either. All else being equal…on the average, people who set up their own businesses don't make more money…But the "psychic benefits" — the challenge, autonomy, recognition, excitement, and creativity — make it all worthwhile.
  • Reading and having books is like wearing clothes. Much of the year, we could go around naked, if we could think of where to keep our keys. But that would not seem quite natural. I would feel abandoned, almost defenseless, without my books. Do others remember, as I do, where they were when they read certain books that changed everything? In a strange way, if I keep the book, I keep that memory. And if I know, or knew, the writer, it’s like keeping a friend nearby.
    A good book is an artifact made with passion, study, or struggle. Newspapers are not the same; you may love your Boston Globe, but today’s edition will end up on the bottom of your birdcage. Someone is bound to invent a way of digitizing the paintings of Rembrandt to make possible an image that is better than we could get by gazing at the original. But we still would want to see the paintings. The human touch cannot be digitized.
  • But after living in smallish apartments for decades I just spent seven years in a house with a full-size attic, and everything went to hell. Books entered my house under cover of night, from the four winds, smuggled in by woodland creatures, and then they never left. Books collected on every surface; I believe that somehow they managed to breed. Now that I have moved again — into a house that's not necessarily smaller but that I am determined to keep from being choked with books like kudzu — I have just weeded out 30 boxes worth: books I won't read and don't need, duplicates, pointless souvenirs.
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Posted by on February 13, 2010 in Links


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