This post is a place for me to put great quotes from various sources.


  • “Economists have a tendency to adopt a notion of well-being that is often too narrow, some version of income or material consumption. And yet all of us need much more than that to have a fulfulling life: the respect of the community, the comforts of family and friends, dignity, lightness, pleasure. The focus on income alone is not just a convenient shortcut. It is a distorting lens that often has led the smartest economists down the wrong path, policy makers to the wrong decisions, and all too many of us to the wrong obsessions. It is what persuades so many of us that the whole world is waiting at the door to take our well-paying jobs. It is what has led to a single-minded focus on restoring the Western nations to some glorious past of fast economic growth. It is what makes us simultaneously deeply suspocious of those who don’t have money and terrified to find ourselves in their shoes. It is also what makes the trade-off between the growth of the economy and the survival of the planet seem so stark.” – Good Economics for Hard Times, Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo
  • “A better conversation must start be acknowledgeing the deep human desire for dignity and human contact, and to treat it not as a distraction, but as a better way to understand each other, and to set ourselves free from what appear to be intractable oppositions. Restoring human dignity to its central place, we argue in this book, sets off a profound rethinking of economic priorities and the ways in which sopcieties care for their members, particularly when they are in need.” – Good Economics for Hard Times, Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo
  • “Most, probably, of our decisions to do something positive, the full consequences of which will be drawn out over many days to come, can only be taken as the result of animal spirits – a spontaneous urge to action rather than inaction, and not as the outcome of a weighted average of quantitative benefits multiplied by quantitative probabilities.” – (161-162) J.M.Keynes, General Theory (1936).


  • Bankers actually give the ailing firms new loans to pay back their old ones, in the hope of postponing the default andperhaps benefitting from a reversal of fortune. This is the phenomenon, in banking parlance, of “evergreening” loans, one of the main reasons why so many banks with seemingly impeccable balance sheets suddenly wake up to a looming disater. Sticky leadning means existing firms that should have been put out of their misery continue to hang on. At the same time, it also means new businesses have a hard time raising capital, especially in the middle of the uncertainty that comes with, say, a trade liberalization, because the loan offcers shy away from taking on new risks. – Good Economics for Hard Times, p64, Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo

Software Engineering

  • Whenever I’m trying to assess the importance of a new programming system, I ask two questions: (1) What tasks/problems does the system take off the hands of the programmer? Are these probems challenging or tedious enough that I feel the system is adding sufficient value for me to want to use it? (2) What problems does the system leave as the responsibility for the programmer? Are programmer better at these tasks? – Lecture 22: DSL on graph, p5, CMU 15-418/618, Spring 2023
  • What is a good domain-specfic programming system design? (1) good systems identify the most important cases, and provide most benefit in these situations. (2) good systems are usually simple systems. (3) good primitives compose: system ultimately is used for applications original designers never anticipated.


  • “The key to happiness is disregarding the notion that you are special” – Clover Chau

Update history

  • 03-07-2023: create post
  • 03-21-2023: add general quote 1
  • 04-03-2023: add invest quote 1, add SE quote 1
  • 04-09-2023: add econ quote 3