I've always been interested in a lot of things, and a lot of things at the same time, and I always tried to explain them to myself. I ask a lot of questions.
More Quotes from Jared Diamond:With the MacArthur grant, I realized that people have high expectations of me, that they were placing me in this group of achievers. I compared what I'd actually achieved in my life with what I would like to achieve and what other people have achieved, and I found that comparison depressing.
Human societies vary in lots of independent factors affecting their openness to innovation.
Most people are explicitly racists. In parts of the world - so called educated, so-called western society - we've learned that it is not polite to be racist, and so often we don't express racist views, but... Racism is one of the big issues in the world today. Racism is the big social problem in the United States.
In much of the rest of the world, rich people live in gated communities and drink bottled water. That's increasingly the case in Los Angeles where I come from. So that wealthy people in much of the world are insulated from the consequences of their actions.
I decided that now is the time to start doing the things that really interest me and I find important. It was in the 10 years of the MacArthur grant that I began working on my first book... and I began putting more work into environmental history.
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It is easy to criticize, particularly in a political season. But to lead is something altogether different. The leader must live in the real world of the price that might be paid for the goal that has been set.
In this life, to earn your place you have to fight for it.
Courage is the capacity to confront what can be imagined.