Zuihitsu, 2022-08

Technically, zuihitsu are longer reflections than what I tend to collect. But, the general idea is right. Here’s this month’s installment. If you want the complete set, please download the fortune file.

  1. Something doesn’t have to last forever for it to be successful.
  2. Perfect happiness is the privilege of deciding when things end.—Sarah Manguso
  3. If you really want to see why you do things, then don’t do them and see what happens.—Michael A. Singer
  4. The simpler the message, the sharper the razor.
  5. Figure out the what before the how.
  6. There is no problem without a solution. If there is no solution, it’s just something you need to live with.
  7. Don’t let your intellectual horizons narrow to fit your politics.
  8. History is shaped by the tools we use to disseminate ideas, not the ideas themselves.
  9. More time invested in choosing leads to better choices but also less satisfaction with them.
  10. Don’t apologize for being unavailable.
  11. Celebrity endorsements in new technologies happen at peaks.
  12. The ego is not master in its own house.—Sigmund Freud
  13. Life is full of alternatives but no choice.—Patrick White
  14. Reality is what is seen, counted, and quantified.—Jacques Ellul
  15. Aggregating demand is key to success.
  16. Who’s in charge?—YOU ARE
  17. The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.—Albert Einstein
  18. Just because nobody complains doesn’t mean all parachutes are perfect.—Benny Hill
  19. Tinkerbell Effect describes things that are thought to exist only because people believe in them.
  20. Trading and prediction are not the same thing.
  21. Live with your choices and learn.
  22. If you lead with fear, you will find something to fear.
  23. Only a vision of the whole, like that of a saint, a madman or a mystic, will permit us to decipher the true organizing principles of the universe.—Karl Schwarzschild
  24. Laws are spider webs through which the big flies pass and the little ones get caught.—Honore de Balzac
  25. All subcultures are, in a sense, status Ponzi schemes.—Scott Alexander
  26. A society grows great when old [people] plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit.
  27. Self report is bullshit.
  28. It is not certain that everything is uncertain.—Blaise Pascal
  29. When the time is ripe for certain things, they appear at different places, in the manner of violets coming to light in the early spring.-Father of Jànos Bolyai, who discovered non-Euclidean geometry.
  30. You can recognize the people who live for others by the haunted look on the faces of the others.-Katharine White Horn
  31. Do whatever brings you life, then. Follow your own fascinations,  obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever creates revolution in the heart.
  32. It ain’t what they call you it’s what you answer to.-W.C. Fields
  33. What is beyond our grasp is neither the future nor the past, but the present itself.
  34. There aren’t any bad crowds, just wrong choices.
  35. Harbor the wolf, and you may find your sheep missing.
  36. Don’t tinkle on my twinkle.
  37. The real mystery of life is not a problem to be solved, it is a reality to be experienced. —A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe by Michael S. Schneider
  38. People carry worlds within them.—Neil Gaiman
  39. First bite is free.
  40. No darkness lasts forever. And even there, there are stars.—Ursula K. Le Guin
  41. When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.—Abraham Lincoln
  42. Life is thick sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.—attributed to Voltaire
  43. It takes three years of working on something to make good money and seven years to generate wealth.—hosts of The TMBA Podcast
  44. Iron sharpens iron.
  45. Listening is the heart of learning.
  46. Tolerance is a peace treaty, not a suicide pact.
  47. Disrespect is earned.
  48. The secret of happiness is not doing what we like but in liking what we do.—J.M. Coetzee
  49. The apocalypse has arrived, but it is not evenly distributed yet.
  50. Your library should contain as much of what you don’t know as you can afford.
  51. Denarrate, insulate yourself from the other people’s narratives.
  52. Nature is not a temple, but a ruin.
  53. Defer decisions, learn along the way and trust in iteration.
  54. All good things must begin.—Octavia E. Butler
  55. On this topic, who has good taste?
  56. It doesn’t rain every day.
  57. There are those who look at things the way they are and ask why… I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?—George Bernard Shaw
  58. Truth builds trust.
  59. The decisions you make add up.
  60. Recency is dramatically overvalued.
  61. Empathize with stupidity, and you are halfway to thinking like an idiot.
  62. It is often the small things that determine success or failure.

Zuihitsu, 2022-07

Technically, zuihitsu are longer reflections than what I tend to collect. But, the general idea is right. Here’s this month’s installment. If you want the complete set, please download the fortune file.

  1. You do not need to be related to relate.
  2. Stop seeing life as a canvas to fill and see it as marble to shape.
  3. The market owes you nothing.
  4. Incorporate some calculated risks into your plan.
  5. You never know when you’re going to run out of steam.
  6. I don’t interest myself in the why. I think more often in terms of the when, sometimes where, and always how much.
  7. Don’t repeat yourself.
  8. Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.—James Baldwin
  9. Markets of abundance are both bad for the median consumer, and good for intelligent ones.
  10. Cars destroy community.
  11. The test of all beliefs is their practical effect in life.—Helen Keller
  12. Forgiveness and compassion are always linked.
  13. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.—Martin Luther King, Jr.
  14. Look for the 25 to 1 risk profile.
  15. You only find out who’s swimming naked when the tide goes out.—Warren Buffett
  16. Smart people hate small talk.
  17. Act like you like someone and you will.
  18. How do you spend most of your time?
  19. Perhaps the dead are the only reliable narrators because their stories are all they have left.
  20. It takes years, if ever, to understand the relative authenticities of our relationships.
  21. Stand in the presence of questions and do not look for answers.
  22. Play the man, not the puck.
  23. There’s imprisonment in trying to recreate the past.
  24. Love is the process of refining the truths we can tell each other.
  25. To know is to share a community of interpretation.
  26. In the game of privacy, the only way to win is not to login.
  27. Build infrastructure.
  28. Paths are made by walking.
  29. Tactics are exchanging one problem for an easier one.
  30. People have done this before, but not us.—Ada Limón
  31. And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.—John Steinbeck, East of Eden
  32. How long can the corpus outlast the corpse?
  33. If you aim at nothing, you hit nothing.
  34. I, and I alone, am responsible for everything I think and feel.
  35. The First Law of Online Writing: always make sure that anything you want to endure is hosted on a platform that you control.
  36. No. I’m fully committed right now.
  37. Will this choice enlarge me or diminish me?
  38. The chances are minuscule. But minuscule is not zero.
  39. To be alive, he says, is to act in ways that reduce the gulf between your expectations and your sensory inputs.
  40. The past can’t hurt you anymore, not unless you let it.—Alan Moore in V for Vendetta
  41. Enduring relationships anchor our identity or our sense of self.
  42. Anything studied and discussed long enough on the internet tends to lead to disillusionment.
  43. People focus on the vices more than the virtues, and lose trust.
  44. Theories followed far enough permit us to transcend our worldview.
  45. Do nothing without gaiety.
  46. Withhold judgment. Distrust your own knowledge, and avoid ideology.
  47. You ultimately become whoever would have saved you that time no one did.
  48. Choose what is simple without hesitation; sooner or later, what is complicated will always lead to problems.–Bernard Moitessier
  49. Obsession with detail is a hallmark of the most successful maintainers.
  50. Simplicity is a form of beauty.–Bernard Moitessier
  51. Do not crystalize your thinking prematurely.
  52. Rapid growth is unbalanced growth. Eventually, growth will be redistributed to an equilibrium.
  53. Be genuine. Be interested. Give the conversation air.
  54. …what we have loved, / Others will love, and we will teach them how.–Wordsworth
  55. People are different, with different strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to understand who you’re dealing with.
  56. One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them.—Aldous Huxley
  57. Don’t overreact to recent bad news.

Zuihitsu, 2022-06

Technically, zuihitsu are longer reflections than what I tend to collect. But, the general idea is right. Here’s this month’s installment. If you want the complete set, please download the fortune file.

  1. Cocaine is a drug for the lonely.
  2. Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way.—Alan Watts
  3. There’s always space for new narratives. The more we share our individual stories, the more we open up space for our collective stories to shift and accommodate them.
  4. A good ending accounts for everything that came before.
  5. Meaning of life: eat and not be eaten.
  6. Scarcity makes people happy.
  7. Never end a command with a verb you do not want them to do.
  8. Your opinion is also a confession of character.
  9. Everybody complains of their memory, but nobody of their judgement”—La Rochefoucauld
  10. Find the room that aligns with your goals.
  11. The audience programs the media.
  12. Life is a long preparation for something that never happens.—W.B. Yeats
  13. Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.—George Bernard Shaw
  14. Death is essential. Predation is the transfer of life and that life is a gift.
  15. A little nonsense, now and then, is relished by the wisest men.—Willy Wonka
  16. Surprise is a warning that our understanding is inadequate.
  17. Be the unanswerable riddle.
  18. Are we living in a fairy tale?
  19. True distance is measured in time.
  20. Peace is postponing the conflict until the reason for the fighting no longer matters.
  21. The grass is always greener on the other side of extinction.
  22. Racing when its not a race gets you nowhere.
  23. Learn to question your assumptions of how other people feel.
  24. Patience is easier when there is no alternative.
  25. Differences in status and wealth drives violence.
  26. People are social, and our identity is built from what we see and hear of ourselves reflected in others.
  27. A culture that encourages the trashing of the nearest and easiest targets will always implode from infighting.—Noah Smith
  28. There is no replacement for experimentation, independent thought and ruthless pragmatism.
  29. The best managers are stellar individual contributors who don’t want to be managers, but they take the role on to maintain their quality standards.
  30. [You] don’t need a randomized controlled trial to know that a kick in the testicles is going to hurt.—Paul Chek
  31. Don’t tweet, just delete.
  32. The five most important skills are reading, writing, arithmetic, persuasion, and programming.
  33. It is more important that a proposition be interesting than that it be true.—A.N. Whitehead
  34. We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams.—Willy Wonka
  35. Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.—Maya Angelou
  36. People with patience are more difficult to manipulate.
  37. The way of the bully depends upon coercion and control.
  38. Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.—George Bernard Shaw
  39. When in a hole, stop digging.
  40. What if this situation is even worse than I thought?
  41. Evolution is a machine turning function into structure.
  42. Forgiveness is accepting the apology you will never receive.​—Shawne Duperon 
  43. The more ubiquitous it is, the more value in the original.
  44. Sell when they want your assets. Buy when they want your cash.
  45. He who brings trouble on his house will inherit the wind.—Proverbs 11:29
  46. Every plan shatters on contact with reality.
  47. Loneliness is both an inability to bond with others, but it is also when we become strangers to ourselves.
  48. Signs of old order collapse: nothing works.
  49. Human beings are an eye blink in the cosmic calendar.
  50. Don’t talk your way out of a compliment.
  51. The con does not work without the confidence.
  52. When you see a good move, look for a better one.—Emanuel Laskel
  53. Politics is for puppets.
  54. Never appeal to someone’s better nature. They may not have one.
  55. Don’t get caught in a distraction.

Zuihitsu: 2022-05

Technically, zuihitsu are longer reflections than what I tend to collect. But, the general idea is right. Here’s this month’s installment. If you want the complete set, please download the fortune file.

  1. Architecture is what you do with the potential of life. —Sir Peter Cook
  2. Specialization tends to shut off the wide-band tuning searches and thus to preclude further discovery.—Buckminster Fuller
  3. Walk the line between chaos and the man.
  4. Want to be irascible? Better be entertaining.
  5. Learn to recognize when it is not your turn.
  6. Know your why.
  7. The price of a free press is torrents of bullshit.
  8. Nothing in life is sure.
  9. We all have chapters we would rather stay unpublished.
  10. Everybody goes down the aisle with half the story hidden.
  11. New market benefit most from contrarian viewpoints.
  12. Cui bono? Who benefits?
  13. The more you own it, the more you learn.
  14. You have to speculate to accumulate.
  15. Four quadrants: truths, probabilities, possibilities, and lies.
  16. Never make an enemy by accident.
  17. Never mistake a wish for a certainty.
  18. A group will reflect the larger culture in which it is part.
  19. Dreams are greater than facts.
  20. Investing: start early, live below your means, save regularly, diversify broadly, and stick to your investment plan.
  21. Take a chance and fail spectacularly. That’s how you learn to succeed.
  22. You must be your own master and call your own tune.
  23. The materials dictate what needs to be done.
  24. Principles are like prayers. Noble but awkward at a party.
  25. A mind can only solve problems of similar size.
  26. Develop a core strength of taste and select for beauty.
  27. Complain less.
  28. Contemplate what the world looks like long after you are gone.
  29. Everything worthwhile is done with other people.
  30. Time favors truth.
  31. A bet is a tax on bullshit.
  32. Avoid disputes. Disputes are a time sink and prevent you from getting real work done.
  33. Avoid becoming an administrator, a job that consists of dealing with money and disputes.
  34. What we need today more than anything else is to invest in beauty.—Vangelis
  35. Temporal bandwidth is the width of your present, your now. How far into the past (or the future) is now?
  36. Half-truths are lies. Every statement is a half-truth. All statements are lies. Q.E.D.
  37. The perfect is the enemy of the possible.
  38. Environment beats self-control every time.
  39. Beware bullish borrowers.
  40. Art is what you make for yourself or give to others. Sell it and art becomes a business.
  41. Earn, learn or relax.
  42. Life is a single player game.
  43. Omniscience has no need for memory.
  44. Be curious about change.
  45. Embrace anomalies and outliers.
  46. Hold exploratory views, but loosely.
  47. Use tools that make you think differently.
  48. Look for patterns rather than timescales.
  49. Each of us must lives with inescapable loneliness, and the temptation is to destroy ourselves to escape it. —paraphrase of Jim Harrison
  50. Shift imagination from the periphery to the foundation of all knowledge.
  51. The less you know, the harder it is to learn.
  52. There are more stupid people to factor in than you imagine.
  53. The tool or platform we are using can keep us stupid, even when we’re smart.
  54. Ignorance is insufficient data to solve a problem; stupidity is where no amount of data will solve it.
  55. Rules inflexibly applied lead to poor outcomes.
  56. It is not what you do not know but what you know that is not so that gets you into trouble.
  57. Avoiding open disagreement reduces the collective intelligence of any group.
  58. Craving the safety of clarity will make you stupid.
  59. Two points define a line. Three a playing field.
  60. No net is so fine or strong that nothing can get through.
  61. Endure the blow, accept the damage, and let someone else strike back.
  62. Death or hardship is not fearful, but our fear of them can destroy us.—paraphrase of Epictetus
  63. If you spend enough time in spaces that demand you be interesting, you eventually become boring.
  64. Once a strongman loses the ability to terrorize, a loss of respect is rarely far behind.
  65. Populism’s animating spirit is hatred of cultural elites. 
  66. If you do not need it and will not use it, do not buy it.
  67. Mistakes are inevitable, the cost of tuition.
  68. Choose one: creativity or productvity.
  69. Competition gets in the way of being oneself.
  70. No fool like an old fool.
  71. Marriage is a novel, not a short-story.
  72. Marriage is like going to church. You need to believe in it.

Zuihitsu: 2022-04

Technically, zuihitsu are longer reflections than what I tend to collect. But, the general idea is right. Here’s this month’s installment. If you want the complete set, please download the fortune file.

1. I tell you: one must have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star.—Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche
2. Build, test, and improve.
3. Apes vs. Gorillas, aka users vs. providers.
4. Find your own way of doing things, make your own rules.
5. If you’re thinking, but not writing, you only think that you are thinking.
6. Things are going to be alright, whatever happens.
7. r, the interest rate, is the rental rate for capital, and w is the rental rate (wage rate) for labor.
8. Parking lots are major revenue generators for airports. Storage is big business everywhere.
9. You can swim all day in the sea of knowledge and not get wet.–Norton Juster
10. Look at the world without euphemism.
11. Most arguments fail due to lack of imagination.
12. The Internet amplifies variance.
13. The puppet does not pull the strings of the puppet master.
14. You can print money but not oil to heat or wheat to eat.
15. All ESG roads eventually lead to international confrontation, nationalisation or protectionism.
16. You could not have wished to be born at a better time than this, when everything is lost.—Simone Weil
17. Don’t privilege privilege.
18. Love triangles are never equilateral.
19. It is better to take what does not belong to you than to let it lie around neglected.—Mark Twain
20. Many and small beats large and heavy.
21. Finding always beats flanking.
22. Swarming always beats surging.
23. I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.—Rabindranath Tagore
24. What makes you dance in the streets?
25. Some things are not meant to be.
26. You can’t unshit your pants.
27. Who brings more value, the producer or the reducer?
28. You can have all the ingredients and still not know the recipe.
29. Don’t be afraid of changing your mind.
30. Equality that penalizes productivity isn’t equality.
31. Don’t shitpost with your wallet.
32. Solve the mystery no one was wondering about.
33. You cannot get water from a book. But, a book might help you find it.
34. A boat should be in the water. But, the water shouldn’t be in the boat. Same with people and the world.
35. Time in a growth market > timing the market
36. Twitter is Uber for ideas.
37. If you are going to manage it, you first have to acknowledge it.
38. Progress, not perfection.
39. Doubt kills.
40. Change your world.
41. When you pray for rain, you have got to deal with the mud too.
42. Takes talent to make money, but brains to keep it.
43. Same mud, same blood.
44. Nothing is more expensive than free. Nothing harder than looking for the easy way.
45. Curating is an act of generosity—you’re sharing what you love and what has inspired you.
46. Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.—Gustave Flaubert
47. Our past is never where we left it.
48. Nobody’s as deaf as those that don’t want to listen.
49. You cannot change where you come from, but you can change where you are going.
50. Imagination leads to emancipation.
51. Humans are more important than hardware.
52. Actions over credentials.
53. Every decline is surfable.
54. When nothing is happening, change what you are doing.
55. Vision, a positive attitude, and hard work can make a new reality.
56. Less furious, more curious.
57. Don’t be afraid to offend.
58. Social media are the fidget spinners of the soul.
59. Some tools can only be used to destroy.
60. Most of the disorder and dysfunction in the world is caused by lack of impulse control.—Dr. Andrew Huberman
61. Resistance or difficulty is necessary in order to understand the nature and depth of our own desires.
62. Few devices have done more to obscure the efforts of human labor than the smartphone.
63. Get it down there where the dogs can eat it.
64. Things that cannot go on forever, stop.

Zuihitsu: 2022-03

Technically, zuihitsu are longer reflections than what I tend to collect. But, the general idea is right. Here’s this month’s installment. If you want the complete set, please download the fortune file.

1. Distrust turns quickly to dislike.
2. The difference between saying something to or about someone is the latter is always gossip.
3. Children don’t worry about the future.
4. Showmen need to know how the audience leans.
5. Strategies for dealing with pain: 1) sleep, 2) forgetting, 3) madness, and 4) death.
6. Wounds that can’t be healed must be forgotten.
7. Find water first. Everything else can wait.
8. May all your stories be glad ones, and your roads be smooth and short.
9. Bones mend. Regret is forever.
10. Entropy eases familiar ruts.
11. Every good story touches the truth.
12. You have to be a bit of a liar to tell a story true.
13. Small deeds for small men.
14. Just because something makes sense doesn’t mean it is true.
15. Fear tends to come from ignorance.
16. A man who travels with his wife can usually be trusted.
17. I’ll see you where the roads meet.
18. Stories give us a clarity and simplicity our lives lack.
19. To fear something, you have to dwell on it.
20. Stealth is a lie and a trap.
21. Borrow or lend, lose a friend.
22. Practice makes the master.
23.  Excellence is excellence’s only companion.
24. A laurel needs rain to grow.
25. A moment in the mind is worth nine in the fire.
26. Beer dulls a memory, brandy sets it burning, but wine is best for a sore heart’s yearning.
27. It’s easier to appear harmless.
28. Sweep up the glass of your broken plans and simply start again.
29. Learn to ignore what’s current.
30. Make something people want.
31. Wisdom precludes boldness.
32. You become what you pretend to be. You tell yourself a story, and you build your identity from it.
33. You don’t know the first note of the music that moves me.
34. Less trust, more rules.
35. Few are as gullible as the well-educated.
36. Never trust a weapon you haven’t personally test fired.
37. Roots are more vital than grafts.
38. The best time to think about it was decades ago, the second best time is now.
39. It’s rare, if not impossible, to produce clean answers to messy questions.
40. The consequence of secrecy in a community is lack of preparedness for facts on the ground.
41. Bad leadership cannot be overcome by spending.
42. De quoi s’agit-il?, or “What is it all about?”
43. Explicit knowledge is translated, and all translations are imperfect.
44. When you find good fortune, convert some to seed grain.
45. Know a lady by her manner and a man by his cloth.
46. Our experience shapes our senses. We see, hear and feel what we have before.
47. Everything has a price.
48. A secret is truth concealed.
49. Nothing is harder than convincing someone of an unfamiliar truth.
50. How badly are you willing to be burned to get it?
51. The unanswerable questions have the most to teach us.
52. Give a fact, the story ends. Give a question, the story begins.
53. Fools worry over what they can’t control.
54. Everyone eats a different part of the pig. Join them.
55. A story is like a nut. One fool will swallow it whole and choke. Another fool will throw it away thinking it has little value. But, the wise will find a way to crack the shell and eat the meat inside.
56. Strength creates enemies.
57. Travel is the great leveler, the great teacher, bitter as medicine, crueler than mirror-glass.
58. Leave mystery for poets, priests and fools.
59. True gifts are given without an expectation of getting something in return. Something given to bind another isn’t a gift.
60. If you need to run, run to where the hiding places are.
61. Among totalitarians, you either conform or have secrets.
62. Intelligence is everywhere, often unrecognized.
63. Freedom is deciding which chances you are willing to take.
64. Better than the person next to you or a better community?
65. Excellence is being open to people with different points of view.
66. Compassion without sentimentality.
67. The dysfunctions and idiosyncrasies of childhood become the self-evident norms of adulthood.
68. Replace the thing before it needs replacement.
69. If enough things get fucked up, you stop needing an origin story for them.
70. Humans are sex and murder machines.
71. It’s interesting, but it doesn’t get the tools stowed.
72. Life is risk.
73. Glossing over data and going straight to interpretation is hiding from whatever direction the data is pointing.
74. Anti-zuihitsu: “One person’s cliché is another person’s truth.”
75. Better to embrace that which cannot be avoided.
76. There’s often no right choice, just a plate of progressively off hors d’oeuvres.
77. The people talking don’t know, and the people that know are not talking.
78. Imagine you wake up one day and no one knows who you are.
79. One should not underestimate the probability of failure even when lots of money is spent.
80. When people don’t know anything, there’ll be a meeting to talk about it.
81. It takes an age to test if beauty will last.
82. Until death, all is life.
83. It’s a big toolbox, and everyone has to find their own way.
84. Nothing humans can touch goes unmodified.
85. Ribbing is fine when someone is happy, but comfort people when they are sad.
86. Beware money roach motels, where it is easy to get money in, hard to get it out.
87. It is so much simpler to bury Reality than it is to dispose of dreams.—Matrix: Resurrections
88. Science is a hard scramble out of ignorance.
89. Don’t huff your own farts.

Zuihitsu: 2022-02

Technically, zuihitsu are longer reflections than what I tend to collect. But, the general idea is right. Here’s this month’s installment. If you want the complete set, please download the fortune file.

1. Learn to forgive quickly.
2. When can you walk on thin ice? Two weeks after you have seen the first ice fisherman out there.
3. The enemy is often closer than one thinks.
4. The people who have the least suffer the most.
5. What does this narrative do to my being?
6. The menu is not the meal.
7. How do you develop your ideas? That is, how do you decide which to pursue?
7. If losing me is the worst thing to happen, your life is still a good life.—Emily Kendal Frey
8. Novelty nourishes.
9. Much of life and productivity is about matching.
10. Leading is demanded by circumstance. Greatness is in answering the call.
11. Culture over rules.
12. If you want to win, find places where winning is easy. If you want to be the best, do the opposite and be prepared to lose.
13. Different situations call for different responses.
14. An overabundance of skepticism can lead you to disbelieve things that are true.
15. Act fast.
16. Simplicity rules.
17. Politics rules over everything.
18. Most people have trouble understanding anything outside their regular experience.
19. Reality reigns.
20. Americans are not dissuaded by death.
21. Figure out how to live with or even love a change you didn’t choose.
22. It’s not the action, it’s the reaction.
23. Cruises are the sampler of travel.
24. Utter cynicism is usually the safest bet.
25. Work is hardly ever checked.
26. Do you own it? Or do you make something happen?
27. Not everything is a lesson. Sometimes you just fail.
28. A constant alert turns quickly into non-alert status quo.
29. Seek simplicity and distrust it.
30. The fruit peel can be as important as the juice.
31. Our heels get higher the closer we inch to death.
32. Ledgers are currencies, platforms are countries.
33. Most skills are fungible, and differentiation is found in values, content and aesthetics.
34. Crypto is the monetary equivalent of the right to bear arms.
35. Only the dead have seen the end of war.
36. They say when something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, destroy you, or strengthen you.
37. Travel light.
38. The future cannot be fought. Time is on its side.
39. A thin line separates truth from a compelling lie.
40. The flip side of mutual interest is mutual pain.
41. No one has a monopoly on truth.
42. You can never learn all of anything.
43. Truths are seldom are straight-forward.
44. Names are important because they reveal a lot about a person.
45. Speak truth, but it never hurts to be polite.
46. Don’t do anything in private you don’t want discussed in public.
47. There’s nothing more classical than cannons.
48. Supply chains are payment chains in reverse.
49. Everything is not for everyone.
50. Understanding and accountability requires memory.
51. Blues without the music is catastrophe.
52. Be in America, but not of America.
53. Don’t leave power on the table.
54. When you view life as a gold rush, you end up worshiping the Golden Calf. A Golden Calf cannot love you back.
55. Create new arenas of struggle.
56. Hunchbacks get ridden.

Zuihitsu: 2022-01

Technically, zuihitsu are longer reflections than what I tend to collect. But, the general idea is right. Here’s this month’s installment. If you want the complete set, please download the fortune file.

1. You need to play it poorly before you get anywhere good.
2. Higher variance in key.
3. Caring more is the first step to being better.
4. Literalist only after interpretation.
5. Self-interest defeats itself.
6. Adventure is just bad planning.—Roald Amundsen
7. In oral cultures, memory can mean remembering the time before you were born through story.
8. Literacy is in opposition to oral culture.
9. Be willing to be dazzled.
10. No progress without regress.
11. Framing sets the premises, which determines conclusions. Try multiple frames when the conclusion is important.
12. Just because the status quo is bad doesn’t mean your desired changes will be implemented.
13. Keep up the kindness with the people you are closest with.
14. Influence is an unruly weed. It grows and dies unpredictably.
15. Much of history is unwritten.
16. Leadership that lasts relies more than on strength or looks.
17. Follow your crazy.
18. With drawing, there’s only one rule: look.
19. The world is full of beauty. It’s up to us to capture and share it.
20. The unimagined is not missed.
21. Home is what you take with you, not what you leave behind.
22. Being nobody is more interesting than being somebody.
23. Don’t like your mind into noun or adjective prison.
24. Consistency compounds.
25. Necessity is the only law.
26. Survival requires change.
27. The broken will break again.
28. Relationships are the course sandpaper of being.
29. Forget that you’ve forgotten.
30. Switching one set of norms for another is merely reforming around the edges.
31. Strip away the illusion of reality and confront us with the reality of illusion.
32. Evoke the stream of warm impermanence, our grand plans are haunted by inevitable change and decay.
33. Rigged games aren’t worth playing.
34. Nothing is as simple as you want it to be.
35. Purposes can be perverted.
36. Being useful isn’t the same as being equal.
37. The prisoner who is his own guard can be set free, for the whole world is his prison.
38. Some worlds are built on a fault line of pain, held up by nightmares.
39. Don’t live your life in a cocktail glass.
40. Ignoring politeness is a privilege of old age.
41. Farewells are easier when they are cruel.
42. We all pay a price for power.
43. Sharpen yourself.
44. Practice analytically, perform intuitively.
45. Less venting, more inventing.
46. Defamiliarize language and open portals to surprise.
47. You cannot kill a fox that swift.
48. Keep your commitments in line with your capabilities.
49. First seek to understand then to be understood.
50. An election is the defining and defending of tribes.
51. Act as if.
52. Love and hate aren’t mutually exclusive.
53. The dead desire nothing.
54. The intellect is a good servant, but the heart must be our master.
55. Names have power.
56. If you love, you don’t get to choose how it’s returned.
57. In the end, all real power is to be judged not on a global and absolute basis but on a local and relative one.
58. The journey to mastery is not made overnight.
59. People believe what they want to believe.
60. A society built on oppression must foster division.
61. Change implies both loss and gain.
62. Any lie or make-belief is more powerful & enduring when there’s an element of truth to it.
63. Stuck? Look for a decision, and make it.
64. Promises only bind those who listen to them.—Jacques Chirac

Zuihitsu: 2021-12

Technically, zuihitsu are longer reflections than what I tend to collect. But, the general idea is right. Here’s this month’s installment. If you want the complete set, please download the fortune file.

  1. Patience is also a form of action.–Auguste Rodin
  2. Do I need to insert myself into this conversation?
  3. The grass is always greener on the side that’s fertilized with bullshit.
  4. Be good. If you can’t be good, be careful.
  5. Quality is remembered over price.
  6. Only bet on unknown unknowns near the frontiers of human tenacity and creativity.
  7. Nothing by halves.
  8. Most people listen to the grass, awaiting news of the harvest.
  9. Break the cycle.
  10. Change your thoughts, change your life.
  11. Literatures over papers.
  12. Taste is complicated and no one is the same person all the time.
  13. Develop images for tomorrow.
  14. The question: does X affect Y? is always yes, and is thus useless.
  15. All human creatures are divided into two groups. There are pirates, and there are farmers. Farmers build fences and control territory. Pirates tear down fences and cross borders. There are good pirates and bad pirates, good farmers and bad farmers, but there are only pirates and farmers.
  16. Be regular and orderly in your everyday life so you can be violent and original in your work.
  17. Take ideas from one place and put them somewhere else and see what happens.
  18. Old narcissists are rarely happy.
  19. A bird cannot land only once on a great tree and claim to know it.
  20. Our methods of measuring resist precision.
  21. Make them choose or lose; don’t be plan B.
  22. Context is scarce. Bridge into larger, different contexts and see what new aspect can be seen.
  23. Demilitarize language.
  24. We all owe something to someone.
  25. State the problem. State what needs to happen. Offer to help.
  26. Always get the listing.
  27. No matter how dark it is, there’s always some light. No matter how much light there is, darkness is still nothing.
  28. Take hold of the future and the future will take hold of you.—Patrick Dixon
  29. Consciousness is written in the laws of nature.
  30. The real problem of humanity is the following: we have Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions and god-like technology.—E.O. Wilson
  31. Science, like art, is not a copy of nature but a re-creation of her.—Jacob Bronowski
  32. Stories form human beings. Be careful with your story.
  33. Work with small groups with similar concerns.
  34. Get a mentor; be a mentor.
  35. Death is the only horizon, with numberless ways to get there.
  36. Do the next right thing.
  37. Painful things are often what give substance and meaning to life.
  38. The rough stuff is just gravel on the road to where you are going.
  39. Disagreement is often a sign of rigor. When everyone agrees, something is probably missing.
  40. Pay attention to the outcasts.
  41. All happiness attracts the Fates’ anger. Great happiness attracts its opposite.
  42. Real systems, like the world, are not perfect: you must tolerate and manage some level of garbage.
  43. What intellectual provocations are you engaged with?
  44. What is your time horizon? Stop working on the status quo (horizon 1). Start designing innovations (horizon 2). Iterating on innovations to get us to that future world (horizon 3).
  45. Someone has to leave first.
  46. Embrace the glitch.
  47. Play with expectations.
  48. Love does not mandate forgiveness.
  49. What good is the oath that doesn’t cost anything?
  50. A true friend is to be treasured.
  51. No reward without risk.
  52. Compromise is an exercise in mastering your pride.
  53. Shift from ‘just in time’ to ‘just in case’.
  54. We’re part made by circumstance and part what we wish to be.
  55. The tree remembers, the ax forgets.
  56. The young are willing to try things those with more experience won’t ever consider.
  57. The functional is a much smaller domain of the possible.
  58. Whose work is it?
  59. The burden of labor can ease the burden of life.
  60. Find a form that accommodates the mess.—Sam Beckett
  61. Not everything is something.
  62. Five percent conspiracy; ninety-five percent is incompetence.
  63. Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.
  64. Don’t settle for a synthetic substitute.
  65. With self-knowledge comes the risk of self-destruction.
  66. Things will change.
  67. Law is an abstraction, the imperfect map of justice.

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.