… For although in a certain sense and for light-minded persons non-existent things can be more easily and irresponsibly represented in words than existing things, for the serious and conscientious historian it is just the reverse. Nothing is harder, yet nothing is more necessary, than to speak of certain things whose existence is neither demonstrable nor probable. The very fact that serious and conscientious men treat them as existing things brings them a step closer to existence and to the possibility of being born.
Of all the founding fathers, I have always been most drawn to Thomas Jefferson. His supposed synthesis of the intellectual and the political appeals to me, yet until recently I had not read a single biography of him. Having just finished Benjamin Franklin’s excellent autobiography, I thought it was time to read up on his successor.
Just finished reading (actually listening) to Outliers. While I enjoyed the book and found the stories throughout to be engaging, I am left with the same feeling I almost always have after reading a popular book trying to explain some complicated historical or sociological phenomenon (e.g. Guns, Germs, and Steel). This feeling is somewhere along the lines of “yeah, maybe, but…”