Gentle reader, if you are shocked by these confessions of self-advertisement, I can only plead that if I had behaved in a more professional way, it would have taken me twenty years to arrive. I had neither the time nor the money to wait. I was poor, unknown, and in a hurry.

– David Ogilvy Confessions of an Advertising Man

It took six years — about four and a half more than Musk had once planned — and five hundred people to make this miracle of modern science and business happen.

-Ashlee Vance Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future


Creative process

The creative process requires more than reason. Most original thinking isn’t even verbal. It requires ‘a grouping inspired by the unconscious.’ The majority of business men are incapable of original thinking because they are unable to escape from the tyranny of reason. Their imaginations are blocked.

I am almost incapable of logical thought, but I have developed techniques for keeping open the telephone line to my unconscious, in case that disorderly repository has anything to tell me. I hear a great deal of music. I am on friendly terms with John Barleycorn. I take long hot baths. I garden. I go into retreat among the Amish. I watch birds. I go for long walks in the country. And I take frequent vacations, so that my brain can be fallow – no golf, no cocktail parties, no tennis, no bridge, no concentration; only a bicycle.

While thus employed in doing nothing, I receive a constant stream of telegrams from my unconscious, and these become the raw material for my advertisements. But more is required: hard work, an open mind, and ungovernable curiosity.

– David Ogilvy Confessions of an Advertising Man

(Elon Musk is) very visual and can store things that others have deemed to look good away in his brain for recall at any time. This process has helped Musk develop a good eye, which he’s combined with his own sensibilities, while also refining his ability to put what he wants into words. The result is a confident, assertive perspective that does resonate with the tastes of consumers.

Like Steve Jobs before him, Musk is able to think up things that consumers did not even know they wanted — the door handles, the giant touch-screen — and to envision a shared point of view for all of Tesla’s products and services.

-Ashlee Vance Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

Possibility of intolerance

What would you do if you had total editorial freedom? I would like to have a judgment-free-zone place where we can go — all of us — and we can all talk. When I was at L.S.U., there was a place called Free Speech Alley the students could go and say whatever they wanted. There were Klan people, there were Black Panthers. You got to see someone’s ignorance, and you got to see someone’s brilliance. At the end of the day, you took away from it what you will.

You’ve said that liberals are actually intolerant. What do you mean by that? If you don’t make room for the possibility that you can be intolerant, then there is a fairly good chance that you are.

-Don Lemon, interview with Ana Marie Cox ‘Don Lemon Doesn’t Get Offended‘ The New York Times Magazine


This is not Homer: it’s (Christopher) Logue’s Homer. Like all translations, it departs fundamentally from the language of the original. Unlike many translations, it arrives at a version that, because of its radical departures, gets us closer to the original than many more defensibly ‘faithful’ translations have ever managed.

-Wyatt Mason ‘Letter of Recommendation: Christopher Logue, ‘War Music’‘ The New York Times Magazine