born 1984

Maria Popova got her start in advertising but found her niche in blogging and web curation with a host of innovative, reader-supported projects. A self-described "interestingness hunter-gatherer and curious mind at large," Maria spends her days collecting...conscientiously selecting + sharing brilliant bits of "timeless and timely" insight that traverse time, space and discipline.

Originally from Bulgaria, the 21st-century author now resides in New York where she works 100+ hours a week as a "curiosity architect" for her more than a million followers. As any Brain Pickings' subscriber will tell you, Maria appreciates a good {sourced} quote!

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Maria Popova (15)

"[We're] in this epidemic of what I call 'skim culture'—the inability to give our attention fully to any one thing, stirred by the constant anxiety that there’s something better, more interesting, more urgent happening elsewhere."

Focus on Focus: Rapt | july 2009

"In order for us to truly create and contribute to the world, we have to be able to connect countless dots, to cross-pollinate ideas."

Networked Knowledge and Combinatorial Creativity | may 2011

"Imitation might well be the sincerest form of ideation."

Networked Knowledge and Combinatorial Creativity | may 2011

"Creativity itself is the original open-source code."

Networked Knowledge and Combinatorial Creativity | may 2011

"Enrich people with creative resources, and over time, these Lego bricks that end up in their heads eventually build this enormous, incredible castle."

Maria Popova's Beautiful Mind | january 2012

"I myself am a firm believer in the power of curiosity and choice as the engine of fulfillment, but precisely how you arrive at your true calling is an intricate and highly individual dance of discovery."

How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love | february 2012

"I'm of the philosophy that there will always be someone who can do it better than you do—what hope for humanity is there, otherwise?"

I'm Maria Popova, and This Is How I Work | september 2012

"Omission is as much a tool of political oppression in the construction of cultural mythology as propaganda."

Oppression by Omission: Women Soldiers who Dressed and Fought as Men in the Civil War | february 2013

"Life—the world—only ever changes when we actively refuse to accept its givens and choose to build new alternatives."

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Jody Williams on How Our Choices Shape the World | may 2013

"Despite what we know about the value of 'deliberate practice' in attaining excellence in any endeavor...we remain gobsmackingly naive about the practice of love, approaching it instead with the magical-thinking expectation that we’re born excellent at it."

A 'Dynamic Interaction': Leo Buscaglia on Why Love Is a Learned Language | june 2014

"We’ve plunged into the era of productivity and operate largely out of a sense of obligation, even if self-elected, rather than a sense of true purpose and passion."

Swami Vivekananda on the Secret of Work | july 2014

"Humanity’s history of mapping the cosmos is as long as our margin of error in explaining the universe is wide."

A Graph of Cosmogony | january 2015

"All of us are links in the evolutionary chain of ideas, much like each butterfly species discovered is a link in the evolutionary chain of natural history."

The Paradox of Intellectual Promiscuity | january 2015

"Understanding the infinite—both as a mathematical possibility and an impossibility of the physical universe—might be more a matter of coming to terms with infinite simplicity than with infinite complexity."

The Absurdity of Infinity | january 2015

"Science thrives on uncertainty and thus necessitates an element of unflinching faith—faith in the process of the pursuit rather than the outcome, but faith nonetheless."

The Island of Knowledge | february 2015
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curated with care by Alicia Williamson {july 2014}