Paul Graham

Lord Acton said we should judge talent at its best and character at its worst. For example, if you write one great book and ten bad ones, you still count as a great writer, or at least, a better writer than someone who wrote eleven that were merely good. Whereas if you’re a quiet, law-abiding citizen most of the time but occasionally cut someone up and bury them in your backyard, you’re a bad guy.

Almost everyone makes the mistake of treating ideas as if they were indications of character rather than talent, as if having a stupid idea made you stupid. There’s a huge weight of tradition advising us to play it safe.

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