Vannevar Bush

Vannevar Bush—head of military research during WW2, author of “As We May Think” and “Science, the Endless Frontier”—wrote a memoir late in life, Pieces of the Action. It was out of print and hard to obtain for a long time, but Stripe Press has brought it back in a new edition with a foreword from Ben Reinhardt. […] Here are some of my favorite quotes from the original edition:

~ Jason Crawford from,


There’s a sort of incredulous-eyes, slight shaking of the head, expression that I make when I want to emphasize just how amazing I find it to be when I gape into the maw of All Human Knowledge. Sometimes I find something like this which is so blindingly important to so much of the society and culture upon which I find myself standing, that I’m drawn up short. I feel like I’ve heard the name “Vannevar Bush” but I couldn’t have told you a thing about that person. Then I look at the hundreds of unread books, and the hundreds of digital, read-later things I’ve collected, and I smile, because I think I get it.

I smile when I manage to remember that there’s no goal. The point isn’t to accomplish anything in particular (fix something big in the world, follow every thread of interest, learn the question whose answer is 42.) The point isn’t even to enjoy the ride. The point is, how you answer the question life asks you.