Self assessment of Bertrand Russell

Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a deep ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.

I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy—ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness—that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it, finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what—at last—I have found.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.

Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a hated burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.

This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me


The Man from the Earth !!!

  1. You can make people believe anything you want,..... no matter how absurd it is. Create a persona they can relate to, which they think or feel is trustworthy or authentic. This is how cults are formed and sustained. People relate to and follow individuals who embody ideas. For example, Gandhi was the physical embodiment of non-violent protest.
  1. The harder you try to ’sell’, the worse you’ll be...... Trying too hard makes you look like you’re hungry for validation. If your idea is excellent, spread talking points and information to let others validate it. The best marketing work is invisible and pitch-free. You don’t know that they’ve succeeded in influencing you until you retro-actively examine your beliefs or actions.
  1. Fallible characters are attractive...... It’s not about the hero or underdog. When you promote a product through a persona, the most important thing to do is to make that persona fallible. Capable of errors. Able to fail. Just like you and me. Make them too perfect and you’ll find it difficult to elicit empathy.
  1. You don’t need much to engage your audience....... A great design, product, price and location are not necessary factors for success. Overdressing an idea can sometimes kill it. The Man from Earth worked well as a movie because of its intentional minimalism, which forces one to pay attention and hence be absorbed in the ongoing dialog. Therein lies its success in captivating minds. Capture mindshare first by giving ideas full emphasis.
  1. Personalize Myths and Avoid General Truths..... It is easy to debunk a general theory about everything because it leaves itself open to attack from all disciplines and angles. Persona-based claims are a little harder to dissect because their statements are tied to individual experience. So what if scientists say that avocado consumption doesn’t correlate to better skin. People will still buy them when an individual they know, respect or trust swears that the humble avocado has made her skin beautiful.


WHAT?............ideas, creativity, knowledge, vision
WHY?...............thinking, morals, challenging assumptions
WHERE?, place, the lab
WHO?..............networking, contacts, affected
WHEN?............time, diplomacy
HOW?...............action, execution, efficiency