Mark Twain

Latest Posts in Mark Twain

Wisdom: It’s Time to Refurbish an Old Ideal

“Wisdom”.  The very word inspires awe.  It suggests pronouncements from the Oracle on Mount Olympus, or the stone tablets that Moses (purportedly) brought down from Mount Sinai, or the Analectsof Confucius, or Plato’s Republic, or the sayings of Mark Twain and Yogi Berra. I prefer to call it a distillation of seasoned experience by some of the battle-hardened veterans of the vicissitudes of life– people with a good heart who have served their time on the battlefield and want to pass on to others what they have learned about the art of living, and of politics. 


Lies, Damned Lies… and Political Lies

The famed British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli is reputed to have said "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." His wry comment (later quoted by Mark Twain) was intended to call attention to how easily we can be misled by spurious precision.  Perhaps this is what inspired Darrell Huff’s classic small book, How to Lie with Statistics.


Canonical and Influential Author-Publishers

The mainstream publishing industry has popularized the stereotype that “self-published” books are inferior to “traditional” ones because the author does not receive an advance and the services provided are less professional. The reality is that the Big Four publishers attained their enormous market share by, at least initially, relying on author subsidies. When advances were paid, they were typically loans that had to be repaid if a book failed to sell a volume of books that would cover the advance.