‘There is always something you can … succeed at’ — Stephen Hawking quotes on money

Stephen Hawking was outspoken on a range of subjects, so his best lines are getting fresh attention following his death.

The storied British physicist, who suffered from a debilitating neurological disorder, died early Wednesday at his home in Cambridge, England, at age 76.

Read more: ‘The world has lost a beautiful mind’ — tributes pour in for Hawking

And see: Hawking says our future may depend on some form of world government

Below are some of his quotes on a topic that is dear to MarketWatch readers — money.

• On robots adding to inequality:

“If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.”

• On greed:

“We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet.”

• On success:

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”

• On the U.K.’s taxpayer-funded National Health Service:

“The more profit is extracted from the system, the more private monopolies grow and the more expensive health care becomes. The NHS must be preserved from commercial interests and protected from those who want to privatize it.”

• On how artificial intelligence threatens to take our stuff:

”As emphasized by Steve Omohundro, an extremely intelligent future AI will probably develop a drive to survive and acquire more resources as a step toward accomplishing whatever goal it has, because surviving and having more resources will increase its chances of accomplishing that other goal. This can cause problems for humans whose resources get taken away.”

• On his “bonus”:

“My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus.”

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