James Surowiecki Quotes

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Life insurance became popular only when insurance companies stopped emphasizing it as a good investment and sold it instead as a symbolic commitment by fathers to the future well-being of their families.

James Surowiecki in Life, Good, Commitment

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Life insurance became popular only when insurance companies stopped emphasizing it as a good investment and sold it instead as a symbolic commitment by fathers to the future well-being of their families.

James Surowiecki

In the auto industry, there's one thing you can always count on: if a new environmental or safety rule is proposed, executives will prophesy disaster.

James Surowiecki

In practice, downsizing is too often about cutting your work force while keeping your business the same, and doing so not by investments in productivity-enhancing technology, but by making people pull 80-hour weeks and bringing in temps to fill the gap.

James Surowiecki

As technology improves, on-screen avatars look more and more like real people. When they start looking too real, though, we pull away. These almost-humans aren't quite right; they look creepy, like zombies.

James Surowiecki

Besides great climates and lovely beaches, California and Greece share a fondness for dysfunctional politics and feckless budgeting.

James Surowiecki

Real politics is messy and morally ambiguous and doesn't make for a compelling thriller.

James Surowiecki

Speculators get a bad rap. In the popular imagination they're greedy, heedless, and amoral, adept at price manipulations and dirty tricks. In reality, they often play a key role in making markets run smoothly.

James Surowiecki

In order to work well, markets need a basic level of trust.

James Surowiecki

Unlike most government programs, Social Security and, in part, Medicare are funded by payroll taxes dedicated specifically to them. Some of the tax revenue pays for current benefits; anything that's left over goes into trust funds for the future. The prog

James Surowiecki

The challenge for capitalism is that the things that breed trust also breed the environment for fraud.

James Surowiecki

Linux is a complex example of the wisdom of crowds. It's a good example in the sense that it shows you can set people to work in a decentralized way - that is, without anyone really directing their efforts in a particular direction - and still trust that

James Surowiecki

Medical tourism can be considered a kind of import: instead of the product coming to the consumer, as it does with cars or sneakers, the consumer is going to the product.

James Surowiecki

On the simplest level, telecommuting makes it harder for people to have the kinds of informal interactions that are crucial to the way knowledge moves through an organization. The role that hallway chat plays in driving new ideas has become a cliche of bu

James Surowiecki

The history of the Internet is, in part, a series of opportunities missed: the major record labels let Apple take over the digital-music business; Blockbuster refused to buy Netflix for a mere fifty million dollars; Excite turned down the chance to acquir

James Surowiecki

If you work for Google or Apple, stock options give you a chance to share in the increasing value of the company. In the N.F.L., nothing like this happens; the players, though rich, are just working stiffs like the rest of us.

James Surowiecki