Adam Smith

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.

Got that from Peter Thiel.  Wikipedia reports about Adam Smith:

He never married, and seems to have maintained a close relationship with his mother, with whom he lived after his return from France and who died six years before his own death.

Smith was described by several of his contemporaries and biographers as comically absent-minded, with peculiar habits of speech and gait, and a smile of “inexpressible benignity”. He was known to talk to himself, a habit that began during his childhood when he would smile in rapt conversation with invisible companions… According to one story, Smith took Charles Townshend on a tour of a tanning factory, and while discussing free trade, Smith walked into a huge tanning pit from which he needed help to escape. He is also said to have put bread and butter into a teapot, drunk the concoction, and declared it to be the worst cup of tea he ever had.

Adam Smith got a job tutoring the young Duke of Buccleuch, and with him they traveled all over Europe and met Ben Franklin.

This Duke of Buccleuch spawned a whole line of British aristocrats: one of his descendants was this handsome devil, Prince William of Gloucester:

Apparently it’s after this Prince William that the current Prince William, husband to Kate Middleton, is named.

On page 3 of The Great Gatsby, Nick tells us:

The Carraways are something of a clan, and we have a tradition that we’re descended from the Dukes of Buccleuch, but the actual founder of my line was my grandfather’s brother, who came here in fifty-one, sent a substitute to the Civil War, and started the wholesale hardware business that my father carries on to-day.



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