Quote of the day—Samuel Butler

All progress is based on the universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income.

Samuel Butler
[While this is widely attributed to Samuel Butler it is not found in a search this particular Samuel Butler’s work. It could be it is a different Samuel Butler or the collection is incomplete. But regardless of who should be given credit I think it is worthwhile to note that while this statement has a great deal of truth to it catastrophic failure is also associated with living beyond one’s income. If you question the validity of this latter claim you should run for public office. If you “know” it is false and can convince enough people of your delusion you too could become president.—Joe]


1 thought on “Quote of the day—Samuel Butler

  1. I’m not sure if I can agree with this statement at all. If I were to lay my finger on where progress comes from, I’d have to say “All progress is based on the innate desire to scratch an itch.”

    Indeed, the Austrian School of Economics makes the case that savings is the source of progress, because by building up resources, we can take a break from our normal labors to pursue ideas that will potentially save labor in the future–and our attempts to push this progression faster, by forcing interest rates lower than they would be naturally, is what creates the boom-bust cycles in our economy.

    I, for one, seek to get rid of my debt (the great majority of it is the “easy” money that we call “student loans”) so that I could spend more time on mathematics–or rather, to pursue whatever ideas I want to pursue when I wake up in the morning. I also now work my darnedest to live within my means, because I now understand that debt is slavery, and it keeps me from progress.

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