Alain de Botton

Profit is the reward for correctly understanding an aspect of reality ahead of your peers.

Evolved from small tribes, it probably doesn't do much good to any of us to be hated, loved or known by large numbers of people.

One can take it as an axiom that one's weirdest, most 'unnatural' thoughts are by definition shared by millions.

Portrait of Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton (born 1969) is a Swiss writer, television presenter, and entrepreneur who lives in the UK. His books and television programmes discuss various contemporary subjects and themes, emphasising philosophy's relevance to everyday life. In August 2008, he was a founding member of a new educational establishment called 'The School of Life'.

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Watch de Botton's TED talk: A kinder, gentler philosophy of success

Bad art might be defined as a series of unfortunate choices about what to show/explain and what to leave out.

It is really only in the age of the Blackberry that people can get a vivid sense of why monasteries were invented.

And the ultimate goal: the translation of your internal talents into objects and projects of tradeable value to others.