1,000 True Fans

This is an edited, updated version of an essay I wrote in 2008 when this now popular idea was embryonic and ragged. I rewrote it to convey the core ideas, minus out-of-date details, that I believe will be useful to anyone making things, or making things happen. If you still want to read the much longer original essay it will follow below this edited version. — KK

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An Italy divided

Two cyclists on opposite sides of the moral compass fought a politically-charged duel that lasted a decade

By Susannah Osborne

The rivalry between Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi reveals the tensions in Italy between the wars. The two cyclists could not have been more different – their riding styles, their moral conduct, their motivations and their physical appearance. Bartali was a heavy-set, strong man with the look of a boxer. Stork-like Coppi was lean, wiry and could break away and never get caught.

Coppi-2

Bartali was a Catholic, born in Tuscany and worshipped by working-class Italians. Signed in 1936 to the Italian Legnano team as a successor to Alfredo Binda he won the Giro d’Italia three times, the Tour de France twice (10 years apart) and seven one-day Monuments. After his Tour de France win in 1938, on the eve of the Second World War, Mussolini proclaimed him as living proof that Italy was a master race. The Vatican’s favourite sportsman, ‘Gino the Pious’ was blessed by three different popes.

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Neo-Liberalism and its Prospects by Milton Friedman

In his magnificent book, Law and Public Opinion, A. V. Dicey distinguished between the trend of legislation on the one hand and the trend of opinion on the other. Legislation, he argued, is dominated by the underlying current of opinion, but only after a considerable lag. Men legislate on the basis of the philosophy they imbibed in their youth, so some twenty years or more may elapse between a change in the underlying current of opinion and the resultant alteration in public policy. Dicey sets 1870 to 1890 as the period in which public opinion in England turned away from individualism (Manchester liberalism) and toward collectivism; yet he points out that economic legislation was not strongly affected by the new trend of opinion until after the turn of the century.

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On Being Conservative By Michael Oakeshott

The common belief that it is impossible (or, if not impossible, then so unpromising as to be not worth while attempting) to elicit explanatory general principles from what is recognized to be conservative conduct is not one that I share. It may be true that conservative conduct does not readily provoke articulation in the idiom of general idea, and that consequently there has been a certain reluctance to undertake this kind of elucidation; but it is not to be presumed that conservative conduct is less eligible than any other for this sort of interpretation, for what it is worth. Nevertheless, this is not the enterprise I propose to engage in here. My theme is not a creed or a doctrine, but a disposition. To be conservative is to be disposed to think and behave in certain manners; it is to prefer certain kinds of conduct and certain conditions of human circumstances to others; it is to be disposed to make certain kinds of choices. And my design here is to construe this disposition as it appears in contemporary character, rather than to transpose it into the idiom of general principles.

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Startup mistakes

Paul Graham

Escrito em outubro de 2006 por Paul Graham, esse Startup Mistakes by Paul Graham é um clássico que precisa ser lido e relido por quem vai empreender.

In the Q & A period after a recent talk, someone asked what made startups fail. After standing there gaping for a few seconds I realized this was kind of a trick question. It’s equivalent to asking how to make a startup succeed—if you avoid every cause of failure, you succeed—and that’s too big a question to answer on the fly. Continue lendo “Startup mistakes”