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Ernst Mayr

The Darwin of the 20th Century

My father had a wonderful library, and we always bought books galore, and I devoured all the books of explorers that went to various places in the world. I admired what Humboldt had done and Bates and Darwin and the Swedish explorers, Sven Hedin and others. I was dreaming all the time about someday being an explorer, going to the tropics, going to the jungles, seeing new things, discovering strange animals and so forth, but of course it was a dream world.
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Ernst Mayr

The Darwin of the 20th Century

I remember that I was in Naples at the time, and incidentally I went to Pompeii with Jim Watson on the day before, and I had arguments on evolution with a Belgian evolutionist by the name of Heutz, H-e-u-t-z, and we argued and argued, and we couldn't get together at all. And I went back to the hotel and I suddenly had an insight. "Well," I said, "If we have a very small population, a founder population, with a very much impoverished gene content, then a genetic reconstruction -- genetic reordering -- is so much faster and easier than in a large widespread population, and that rapid turnover in a marginal peripheral little population is the secret of why suddenly evolutionary changes occur that will not be reflected in the fossil record, because the chance that one of these little founder populations that rapidly changes will be discovered by geologists is nil." And so I got this idea of the evolutionary importance of the small population for a great speed-up in revolutionary rate. I then came back to lecture on it in Oxford the same year and finally published a paper in 1954 in which I developed the thing. And this paper was later used by Eldredge and Gould. They named this process that I had discovered and described. They named it.
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Ernst Mayr

The Darwin of the 20th Century

Very often I see a statement made by somebody which clearly to me is wrong, and then I work out what is the real right answer, and this happens to me very often. Of course, some of these answers that I find are already in the literature, but sometimes I am the first one who makes that discovery and I think this attention to wrong statements and endeavor to correct them is part of the answer. I always think about things, and if something puzzles me Well, that of course was one of Darwin's secrets. Whenever something puzzled him, he tried find a theory. He made a conjecture, as (Karl) Popper would call it, and see if it worked out and that's true even today. I go walking with a friend every day and constantly he's amazed at me. I see something and I begin to ask questions. Why are these big rocks here? There shouldn't be any big rocks here, you know. Things like that. I like to ask questions and I think that is part of the secret of my success, that I'll ask questions and occasionally I'll find a very good answer.
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Willie Mays

Baseball Hall of Fame

I think the key to that particular play was the throw. I knew I had the ball all the time. In my mind, because I was so cocky at that particular time when I was young, whatever went in the air I felt that I could catch. That's how sure I would be about myself. When the ball went up I had no idea that I wasn't going to catch the ball. As I'm running -- I'm running backwards and I'm saying to myself, "How am I going to get this ball back into the infield?" I got halfway out. As I'm catching the ball I said, "I know how I'm going to do it." I said, "You stop " -- I'm visualizing this as I'm running. It's hard to tell people that -- what I'm doing as I'm running. I know people say, "You can't do all that and catch a ball." I said, "Well, that's what I was doing. Okay?" I was running, I was running. I'm saying to myself, "How am I going to get this ball back in the infield? "So now as I catch the ball -- if you watch the film close -- I catch the ball, I stop immediately, I make a U-turn. Now if I catch the ball and run and turn around -- Larry Doby which is on second, Al Rosen on first -- Larry can score from second. Because Larry told me -- I didn't see this, Larry had told me many times -- "I was just about home when you caught the ball, I had to go back to second and tag up and then go to third." So he would have scored very easily. So I said, well -- as I'm running, I've got to stop and make a complete turn. You watch the film and you'll see what I'm talking about. I stopped very quickly, made a U-turn, and when I threw the ball I'm facing the wall when the ball is already in the infield. So when you talk about the catch, more things went into the play than the catch. The throw was the most important thing because only one guy advanced, and that was Larry, from second to third. Al was still on first. And that was the key. To me it was the whole World Series.
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Craig McCaw

Pioneer of Telecommunications

I think Dickens' whole approach to that question, the whole moral question of whether we are or are not different because of our upbringing and our social status, I think has put me in a stead to where I think I'm more comfortable with an egalitarian world, such as we're seeing evolve from the Internet where everyone really is nameless, faceless, you don't know where they are, you don't know what they mean. And in a sense, you can't put them in a box, because you don't know what box they would belong in. So, I think Dickens to me had a very sad message about human behavior, but also a very optimistic one. That if you recognize that, if we get beyond that, that there's a wonderful life beyond for all.
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Craig McCaw

Pioneer of Telecommunications

If you give something to people in their interest, they will eventually realize it. If they don't know it on day one, it really isn't important. It's your job to think almost anthropologically about humanity and say, "What would be in their best interest?" And then try to get there first, and know that eventually they'll learn that what you have is worth their while. If I ever got a vision in business it was that, the Field of Dreams mentality, and that's how I've really operated in my career. I've never worried whether somebody else thought it was the right thing. If I believed it was the right thing, then I was prepared to build it and hoped that "they would come," based upon if I were that person and I were in their circumstances, that I would appreciate what product was being created and it was worthwhile.
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Craig McCaw

Pioneer of Telecommunications

With cellular telephony, in particular, we saw an enormous gap between what was and what should be. The idea that people went to a small cubicle, a six-by-ten office, and sat there all day at the end of a six-foot cord, was anathema to me. I mean, it makes absolutely no sense. It is machines dominating human beings. If one thing is obvious, people will pay, people will contribute something for control of their lives, the right to choose. And I think if anything we saw in cellular telephone it was that people were being subjugated needlessly to 1890's technology.
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