Zuihitsu: 2021-11

Collecting these little ideas has become a major focus. Here’s this month’s installment.

1. Give the conversational ball back.
2. Stories from yourself and trusted people are almost the only kind of evidence that’s real.
3. The secret of life is to do something you care about.
4. Listening means willing to be changed. 
5. Brevity is achieved by selection, not compression.
6. Potential isn’t real; it’s a projection.
7. Once we’re thrown off our habitual paths, we think all is lost, but it’s only here that the new and the good begins.—Leo Tolstoy
8. Efficiency is fundamentally opposed to democracy and self-determination.
9. To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.—G. K. Chesterton
10. All killer, no filler.
11. Centralization is quick, both feature and bug.
12. Behind every criticism is a wish.
13. Imagination can be sparked by a change in medium.
14. A basket of options is worth more than an option in a basket.
15. Culture cannot be separated from cult.
16. Good solutions still could have errors.
17. A new thought about what everyone sees is better than seeing something new.—Schopenhauer paraphrased
18. The sensible people are the first to leave.
19. Blaming people increases fear and decreases reporting of problems.—Six Sigma paraphrase
20. You either die a Guitar Hero or live long enough to become Fat Elvis.
21. Keep him nerdy, he won’t do you dirty.
22. Do it for love. Love is often only thing that can turn good enough into great.
23. Write five times more and divide the length by five.
24. Code, clubs and cults win arguments.
25. Before the elevator, the penthouse was for maids.
26. Don’t trust the map; trust the compass.
27. One man’s rancid garbage is another man’s Golden Corral buffet.
28. Remaking the world means you’re going to have to remake yourself.
29. Grind grit down to grease for the gears.
30. There are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy.
31. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.—Gandalf in the Fellowship.
32. Those who act without regard to the moral and physical limits implicit in the human condition do not become as the gods but rather descend into an inhuman, bestial state.
33. Where there is no room for reflection, there is none either for justice or prudence.
34. Possess power, and you’ll be possessed by it.
35. Big ideas need crazy people, and then outgrow them.
36. Writing heightens consciousness.
37. Love without fear, restraint or obligation.
38. Invent full-time.
39. Completely open minds become dumps.
40. When choice trumps values, everything is for sale.
41. If you fit in, you’re replaceable.
42. No one owes you friendship or love. A relationship can stop at any time. So, cherish it while it lasts.
43. Radical change in a person is often them getting tired of faking it.
44. The true test of goodness is how we treat those who are at our mercy.
45. What you think is the point is only the beginning of sharpness.
46. Explore/exploit is another way to think about fox/hedgehog.
47. The longer it takes, the more the worst aspects are magnified.
48. A deep life is a good life. Concentration and craft are related.
49. There’s no need to repeat the truth.
50. Spend more on things keeping you off the ground, e.g., shoes and beds.
51. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds.—Gerald G. Jampolsky
52. All of us have things we can’t do alone.
53. Some things can only be known through experience.
54. Friends are hard to earn, harder still to keep.
55. Live true.
56. Too much love is never good.
57. Loneliness is a darkness of the soul.
58. The more you say no to things that don’t matter, the more you can say yes to the things that do.
59. Maybe we can’t all change the world. Maybe it’s enough just to do good for the short time that we’re here.—Arcade Gannon
60. What is the value of illuminating the landscape from our darkened past?
61. A game is the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles.—Bernard Suits
62. How much of our behavior is governed by things that are, effectively, a social game?
63. There is nothing in the desert and no man needs nothing.—Prometheus quoting Lawrence or Arabia
64. Big things have small beginnings.
65. Never confuse who you are with what you do.
66. Master your inner dialogue.
67. Learn to live in the moment.
68. Find your real family, and clear out toxic people.
69. Crisis is opportunity; look for growth when it gets hard.
70. Be the sort of person who isn’t blandly likable and safe to know, but rather extracts a cost to be close to and then repays that cost with rare and complicated gifts of personality.