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If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a very loose English paraphrase of his French poem Dessine-moi un bateau, or Make Me a Boat, found in Citadelle, 1948.

 

Parkinson’s Law of Triviality states that, “the time spent on any item of the agenda will be in inverse proportion to the sum involved.” In other words, if you try to build a simple thing such as a public bike shed, there will be endless town hall discussions wherein people argue over trivial details such as the color of the door. But if you want to build a nuclear power plant — a project so vast and complicated that most people can’t understand it — people will defer to expert opinion. — C. Northcote Parkinson, 1957, Parkinson’s Law.

 

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