Politicians don't like to face unpleasant realities. In truth, nobody does, but as individuals, we have no choice; if we neglect to plan ahead, we are held accountable. Fail to meet your responsibilities at work, and you get fired. Ignore your car's gas gauge, and you get stranded.
The idea behind a dish - the delight and the surprise - makes a difference. Great literature surprises and delights, and provokes us. It isn't just 'Here's the facts - boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl.' It's how you tell it.
Suppose that every prospective parent in the world stopped having children naturally, and instead produced clones of themselves. What would the world be like in another 20 or 30 years? The answer is: much like today. Cloning would only copy the genetic aspects of people who are already here.
The techniques of being an Internet visionary are just like those of lower-tech fortunetellers through the ages. A technological visionary must tell people what they want to hear, because your company's stock won't rise if you spout an unpopular vision to analysts.
In politics, religion and other areas of culture, people disagree on the worth of competing ideas. There is no equivalent to the scientific method that can determine in a robust way which ideas match the real world, and which ones can be ruled out. So conflicting ideologies persist indefinitely.
There is a one-in-300 chance that Earth will be struck on March 16, 2880, by an asteroid large enough to destroy civilization and possibly cause the extinction of the human race. But, on the bright side, Prince could re-release his hit song with the new refrain 'We're gonna party like its twenty-eight seventy-nine.'
We collectively have a special place in our heart for the manned space flight program - Apollo nostalgia is one element, but that is only part of it. American culture worships explorers - look at the fame of Lewis and Clark, for example. The American people want to think of themselves as supporting exploration.
The simplest fix for better grilling is to line the inside of your barbecue with tin foil. It dramatically affects how evenly the heat is distributed. That crusty black hibachi or Weber grill is doing your food no favors.
If you had a really good - battery, it wouldn't matter that the sun goes down at night and the wind stops blowing sometimes. But at the moment, battery technology is nowhere near good enough to use at utility scale.
Why pay a fee for Internet content when a million free sites are just a click away? There's no incentive until people are too addicted to the Net to turn off their computers, yet are bored with what's available.
It's very hard for individual inventors to get paid. For the same reason that private equity is valuable - broadly, that's a good thing - in the case of patents, many that own them aren't in a good position to take the next step.
Some article called me the most feared man in Silicon Valley. Good Lord! Why? My teenage boys got a kick out of it: 'Dad, how could this be true? You're not even the most feared person in this house.'
My company invents all kinds of new technology in lots of different areas. And we do that for a couple of reasons. We invent for fun - invention is a lot of fun to do - and we also invent for profit. The two are related because the profit actually takes long enough that if it isn't fun, you wouldn't have the time to do it.
Business is war! Its leaders are strategic commanders, who boldly snatch victory from the jaws of defeat - and who perform other acts of derring-do. This kind of talk sounds great in the boardroom, and, for that matter, in the bookstore, where dozens of authors counsel would-be corporate warriors.
The cloning procedure is similar to IVF. The only difference is that the DNA of sperm and egg would be replaced by DNA from an adult cell. What law or principle - secular, humanist, or religious - says that one combination of genetic material in a flask is OK, but another is not?
One of the things that I love to do is travel around the world and look at archaeological sites. Because archaeology gives us an opportunity to study past civilizations, and see where they succeeded and where they failed. Use science to, you know, work backwards and say, 'Well, really, what were they thinking?'
Regardless of how it's done, transaction costs will continue to plummet as computers get more powerful. Low transaction costs are a wonderful thing if you're in the transaction business. They're wonderful for consumers too, making it cheaper and easier to buy things and creating new things to buy.
Near Marseilles in the south of France, bouillabaisse is a cult food. In Toulouse and Carcassonne, the bean-based stew cassoulet is a cult food. Spain has paella and a number of others. Italy has so many, its cuisine is practically defined by them.
If you have two steaks, one that's an inch thick, one that's 2 inches thick, how much longer does the thicker one need to cook? It's four times as long. It goes roughly like the square. How come cookbooks don't tell you that?
There's no way I'm going to stand up for bad ingredients. We love seasonal ingredients. It's a false dichotomy to say that modern cooking is at odds with that, but some people want to have a great ingredient and no technique.
When I was about nine years old, I announced to my mother that I was going to cook Thanksgiving dinner. And I went to the library and got this whole pile of books. I'd love to say it all turned out great. It didn't. But, sort of, from that point on, whenever there was serious cooking at home, I was the one who did it.
Software-industry battles are fought by highly paid and out-of-shape nerds furiously pounding computer keyboards while they guzzle diet Coke. The stakes aren't very dramatic. Life? Liberty? The pursuit of happiness? Nope, it's about stock options.
The way Moore's Law occurs in computing is really unprecedented in other walks of life. If the Boeing 747 obeyed Moore's Law, it would travel a million miles an hour, it would be shrunken down in size, and a trip to New York would cost about five dollars. Those enormous changes just aren't part of our everyday experience.