Pimps in History #1 – Bertrand Russell

This may be the first and only “Pimps in History” post, but who knows.

There aren’t many people I look up to. You know, look up to the way an aspiring basketball star would look up to Jordan, Kobe, or whoever the current reincarnation of basketball pimpness is.

Basically the way an aspiring basketball star loves basketball, I love something I like to call “mental gymnastics.” I believe the term is pretty self explanatory. I like thinkers.

Today’s Mental Gymnastic Pimp! is Bert. First, let’s peep a photo:

Bertrand Russell

Look at that shit! PIMP! I should just stop writing now. I think that photo pretty much wraps everything up… but no. Lets continue.

How I Found Mr. Russell

I ran into to old Berty Bert while reading a loaner book from James “Big Pimpin'” Lick (the book is titled [“Learned Optimism”].) The quote was: … uh…


OK, for the record I had to first find my old notebook (I remembered writing the quote in it.) After finding this notebook and the “quote” I wanted to verify that Bertrand did indeed say/write this. I then ended up on a quest to find this information (which lead me to [this google answers thread].) Well, what I have written in my notebook, which is what someone else said Bertrand said is…

The mark of a civilized human being is the ability to read a column of numbers and then weep.

I instantly thought the man attributed to writing/saying that statement was a pimp. I’m sure there are many interpretations of it, but here’s mine:

Basically, I instantly thought of all the numbers and figures about the world that are somewhat general knowledge. Things like [the frequency of people dying of starvation, waterborne diseases and AIDS. One person every other second needlessly dies. Approximately 85% of them are children.] Then I thought about the images that CNN produces daily. THEN I thought of how the average person would respond to images vs. numbers/facts. I’m not exactly sure what I concluded from all that thought, but I liked the statement because it got me thinking. šŸ™‚

Quotes From a PIMP!

Anyhow, the first chance I got to Google more Berty Russell quotes, I did. And he has a ton of gems. Like:

If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have paradise in a few years. – Bertrand Russell

No one gossips about other people’s secret virtues. – Bertrand Russell

The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if you are good you will be happy – I mean that if you are happy you will be good. – Bertrand Russell

The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution. – Bertrand Russell

I was, of course, eventually led to his [Wikipedia page] where I got to read up on the life and times of Mr. Russell. Some of the things I love about the guy is that he was very fond of mathematics and took the use of language very seriously. He also had a VERY progressive view on marriage and relationships (especially given when and where he was born.)

He was pretty much one of the pioneers of the pimp game.

[…] He soon fell in love with the puritanical, high-minded Alys, who was a graduate of Bryn Mawr College near Philadelphia, and, contrary to his grandmother’s wishes, he married her in December 1894. Their marriage began to fall apart in 1902 when it occurred to Russell, while he was out on his bicycle, that he no longer loved her; they divorced nineteen years later, after a lengthy period of separation. During this period, Russell had passionate (and often simultaneous) affairs with, among others, Lady Ottoline Morrell and the actress, Lady Constance Malleson.

Alys pined for him for these years and continued to love Russell for the rest of her life.

Anyhow, I like this dude and maybe you will too.

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3 Responses to Pimps in History #1 – Bertrand Russell

  1. LJD says:

    He also apparently boned T S Eliot’s wife (while she was still Mrs. T S Eliot). Pimp-o-licious!

  2. Frostfox says:

    That first quote was mentioned on one of our podcasts.


  3. MikeCarratt says:

    wow, this man had some very inspirational thoughts. His words on peoples desires for happiness I find to be very true, i hate the modern “philosophy” that you can suceed by your competitors demise. I shall have to pick up a copy of his book, thankyou for introducing me.

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