Nathan Myhrvold

Suppose that 'Unsolved Mysteries' called you with news of a long-lost identical twin. Would that suddenly make you less of a person, less of an individual? It is hard to see how. So, why would a clone be different? Your clone would be raised in a different era by different people - like the lost identical twin, only younger than you.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote People, Lost, Be Different

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.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Life, Happiness, Diet

I've been on a team that won the world championship of barbecue. But barbecue's interesting, because it's one of these cult foods like chili, or bouillabaisse. Various parts of the world will have a cult food that people get enormously attached to - there's tremendous traditions; there's secrecy.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Food, Team, World

The first thing that is not obvious to people is global warming is a less-than-1% effect. It's like being shortchanged at the bank by a penny every dollar. Over a long period of time with lots of transactions, that piles up.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Time, People, Global Warming

Words can hurt you. In the larger world, it frames how people think about you, and it can hurt you in lots of little, subtle ways.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Words, World, Hurt

One of the problems with posing a 'bold new plan' is that you can't just extrapolate from previous plans.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Problems, Plan, New

If I say I've got two versions of Word - that old one from 1982 that's perfect, with zero defects; or the new one that's got all this cool new stuff, but there might be a few bugs in it - people always want the new one. But I wouldn't want them to operate a plane I was on with software that happened to be the latest greatest release!Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Cool, Greatest, People

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?'Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Love, Work, Travel

Now, to find dinosaurs, you hike around in horrible conditions looking for a dinosaur. It sounds really dumb, but that's what it is. It's horrible conditions, because wherever you have nice weather, plants grow, and you don't get any erosion, and you don't see any dinosaurs.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Weather, Looking, Grow

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.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Children, Today, World

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.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Good, Step, Reason

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.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Food, Italy, Spain

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.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Politics, Religion, Culture

Microsoft, Apple, Facebook all bought huge patent portfolios to further their strategic game. They're doing what I'm doing!Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Game, Doing, Apple

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?Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Law, Egg, Difference

Technological 'revolutions' don't really overthrow anything - they simply append a new and dynamic market to that which went before.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote New, Technological, Market

I think you would find almost anyone who stands up for their patent rights has been called a patent troll.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Think, Find, You

Three things about water affect almost all of cooking. First are the hydrogen bonds, which is why it has an incredibly high boiling point. Another is that it's a polar molecule, so that it dissolves a lot of things, and there are things that won't mix with it. And then there's how much energy it takes to heat water.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Water, Cooking, Energy

Nuclear energy is a baseload - meaning it's power that you can run any time you want, day or night - and carbon-free.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Time, Day, Power

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.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Work, Car, Truth

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.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Technology, Time, Fun

One of the greatest things that Apple and Jobs were very good at doing was daring to do the very different thing. It's what I did with my cookbook, frankly.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Good, Greatest, Doing

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.'Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Earth, Chance, Song

Nobody wants a prediction that the future will be more or less like the present, even if that is, statistically speaking, an excellent prediction.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Future, Present, Will

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.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Business, War, Great

Anybody who can afford a box of business cards can afford a Web site. Any company with an 800 number can move its services to the Web for peanuts by comparison. The extreme case of corporate promotion is to strip away all other aspects of your business and sell goods or services via the Net alone, as amazon.com has done with books.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Business, Alone, Cards

Risk is the sort of word that is easy to discuss upfront but tough to handle when it comes time to pay the piper. There will always be some who wimp out and second-guess when the pain hits, but that is a childish reaction.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Time, Pain, Risk

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.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Business, Computers

Efficiency in government is a more elusive concept than efficiency in the private economy, which may be measured relatively easily as output per units of input. What is the government's 'output?'Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Government, May, Efficiency

The reason societies with democratic governments are better places to live in than their alternatives isn't because of some goodness intrinsic to democracy, but because its hopeless inefficiency helps blunt the basic potential for evil.Nathan Myhrvold

0 likes view quote Evil, Democracy, Potential
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