Zuihitsu: 2021-07

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

  1. The interior of our skulls contains a portal to infinity.—Grant Morrison
  2. Personal density is proportional to temporal bandwidth.—Thomas Pynchon
  3. Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.—Salvador Dali
  4. Relationships come with no guarantees.
  5. The tears we cry moisturize the skin of life.
  6. Take the broken pieces of another thrill and make a brand new toy.—Elvis Costello
  7. Getting married isn’t going to make you less alone.
  8. Acts demolish alternatives, that is the paradox.
  9. Individualism doesn’t scale.
  10. People who live in cities tend to collect neuroses.
  11. People become estranged from their former selves, their goals and dreams unless they continuously try to define and remember them.
  12. Life is stranger than even the strangest among us can suppose.— paraphrasing Terence McKenna paraphrasing J.D.S. Haldane
  13. Few theories work well when applied over two orders of magnitude.
  14. Let go of things not meant for you.
  15. Hold plans lightly.
  16. Action over thought.
  17. Limits usually have limits.
  18. Separate the real from the unreal.
  19. Create the job you want.
  20. The more you do what you want the less you want to compare.
  21. Most things take less time than you think.
  22. You can be the best X, and there are going to be people that hate Xs.
  23. Opportunity flows through people.
  24. Nobody knows what they are doing.
  25. Life is long.
  26. Our weakness can also be a strength.
  27. What we understand depends on how we think.
  28. Even unseen work has value.
  29. The offer of a generous spirit is not to be refused lightly.
  30. The best ideas are rarely discovered in isolation from practical implementation.
  31. To deny the past is to deny the future.
  32. When we crave power over life—endless wealth, unassailable safety, immortality—then desire becomes greed.
  33. Only one thing in this world can resist an evil-hearted man. And that is another man. A spirit capable of evil is also able to overcome it.
  34. Presume to punish and reward others, and you’ll enter into a master/slave relationship.
  35. Do nothing, unless it must be done and done that way.
  36. Save talking until you know something.
  37. The counsel of the dead is not for the living.
  38. To wield a weapon you do not understand is most likely to end with harm to self.
  39. Strange roads have strange guides.
  40. In innocence, there is no strength against evil.
  41. True power accepts and doesn’t take.
  42. A candle only looks bright in the dark.
  43. Truth varies with the man.
  44. Learn by going where you have to go.—Roethke
  45. Leave a little room for luck and chance to aid you.
  46. Nothing can be without becoming.
  47. There’s misery enough; you don’t have to go looking for it.
  48. Harm draws harm to it.
  49. Better shark than herring.
  50. Is wisdom all words?
  51. Grow in grace.
  52. Used goods can be had at less price and for more value.
  53. What cannot be mended must be transcended.
  54. Before you start, decide when quitting is the best choice.
  55. Hard times are like bad weather, they don’t last.
  56. Expression is compression.
  57. People make history, but not in circumstances of their own choosing.—paraphrase of Karl Marx
  58. Talent wins.
  59. Don’t get stuck on the details. 
  60. Bad times help you appreciate good times.
  61. Be a thread woven into the fabric of shared human experience.
  62. People in cities don’t mix, they sort.
  63. Mercy to the guilty is the only kind of mercy there is.—Eve Tushnet
  64. There are some things you just don’t want to know.—Zeckhauser
  65. If you focus on people’s shortcomings, you’ll always be disappointed.—Zeckhauser
  66. Practice asynchronous reciprocity.—Zeckhauser
  67. Pleasure is no enemy of discipline.—Virginia Woolf
  68. Habits form from enjoyment. Want to form a habit? Find a way to make it fun.
  69. The only advice one person can give another is to take no advice, to follow your own instincts, to use your own reason, to come to your own conclusions.
  70. To be a happy person, one must contemplate death five times daily.—Bhutanese folk saying
  71. The art of life is to know how to enjoy a little and to endure much.”—William Hazlitt
  72. Some people are enlightened only on retreat.
  73. We live in a time when endless wants wreck us, and enough is a radical supposition.
  74. In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy.
  75. The institutionalization of values leads inevitably to physical pollution, social polarization, and psychological impotence: three dimensions in a process of global degradation and modernized misery.
  76. Useful things for useless people.
  77. Define a problem by its behavior, not by your preferred solution.
  78. Aim to enhance total systems properties, such as creativity, stability, diversity, resilience, and sustainability–whether they are easily measured or not.
  79. If something is unsustainable, it will end. You don’t have to end it.
  80. Small things often.
  81. I am not inclined to ruin myself for the sake of hurting my enemies.—Hermocrates
  82. Focus on the past is ego. Focus on the future is pride. Focus on the present is humility.
  83. It is dangerous to be right when the status quo is wrong.—paraphrase of Voltaire
  84. Personality is important in love but rarely outside of it.
  85. We squander our lives on trivia.
  86. Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.—Oscar Wilde paraphrased
  87. Knowledge is acquired when we succeed in fitting a new experience into the system of concepts based upon our old experiences. Understanding comes when we liberate ourselves from the old and so make possible a direct, unmediated contact with the new, the mystery, moment by moment, of our existence.—Aldous Huxley
  88. Imitation is at the root of all behaviour.—René Girard
  89. Humour is a test of expertise.
  90. Technology is commodification, and words commodify knowledge.
  91. Social embeddedness is key to any communication medium.
  92. Good times will come, and hard times will come. If we are to endure, we must be principled and create value on solid foundations. 
  93. All empty souls tend toward extreme opinions.—William Butler Yeats
  94. Early commitment leads to cost overruns.
  95. Self-sufficiency and money cannot co-exist because money implies dependency.
  96. …to resign oneself to accept the lesser of two evils is unworthy of the human spirit.—Jacques Maritain
  97. My idea of rich is that you can buy every book you ever want without looking at the price and you’re never around assholes. That’s the two things to really fight for in life.—John Waters
  98. Are you asking the right questions?
  99. When traveling, have a spare for what you wear.
  100. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.—Harry Potter

Zuihitsu: 2021-06

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

1. “I’m not saying we’ll live to see some sort of paradise. But just fighting for change makes you stronger. Not hoping for anything will kill you for sure.” —Leslie Feinberg, Stone Butch Blues
2. Figure out what game you’re playing, then play it (and only it).
3. “Tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming.”—David Bowie
4. Betteridge’s law of headlines: “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”
5. “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” —Blaise Pascal
6. It’s always darkest before it’s pitch black.
7. I used to think I was scared of heights but now I know I was just scared of gravity.—Reid Wiseman (NASA astronaut)
8. One time is coincidence; two times is enemy action.
9. A professional is an amateur who didn’t quit.
10. Planning leads to dictatorship.
11. First thought is your socialization; second thought is reflection.
12. A misnamed thing is a mismanaged thing.
13. When one is trying to be oneself, competition will inevitably get in the way.
14. Figure out what you want to do, and do it fast. If you can’t do that, do plan B. Fast.
15. There’s nothing like real risk to clarify one’s opinions.
16. In the religion of animals, humans are the devil.
17. Judge it later. You’ll have plenty of time to judge it. Ignore the judgments of others.
18. Do not learn how to react. Learn how to respond.—The Buddha
19. Everyone is different, but the differences aren’t due to being male or female.
20. “If there’s risk involved, eliminate it.” —John Havens
21. The e in email is for evidence.
22. What incentive do we have to evolve?
23. Don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.—Robert Frost
24. Be prepared to lose everything.
25. Productive interactions are better than destructive interactions.
26. Whenever we try to impose control on people and situations we only serve to make them more uncontrollable.—paraphrase of Margaret Wheatley and Leia in Star Wars
27. Don’t believe anything you have to believe.
28. A perfectly tuned conversation is a vision of sanity.
29. A positive attitude, unpretentious kindness, hard work, and a sense of humor can be useful for living.
30. Life is one continuous mistake.
31. Lack of gratitude is endemic.
32. Nail down what you’ve got.
33. Once you’ve learned to see angels, you’ll see devils too.
34. Mental illness is anything that interferes with love or work.
35. Develop a good understanding of the mind, then discipline it.
36. Joy is an act of resistance.
37. Imagine another, better world.
38. Miami: a sunny place for shady people.
39. Innuendo without fact is immoral.
40. For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong.—H.L. Mencken
41. Adulthood is patience. Mastery is nine times patience.
42. To hear, one must be silent.
43. Danger surrounds power as darkness surrounds the light.
44. It is impossible to tell the difference between spellcasting and prognostication.
45. Each person makes their own prison, but few think to make a key.
46. Alone, no one wins freedom.
47. Freedom is not a gift, but a choice.
48. We live in a tabloid world now.

Zuihitsu: 2021-05

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

  1. Small talk is the tax that God extracted for the privilege of human speech.
  2. It is a different skill to communicate an idea than to understand it.
  3. If someone says there was too much, then something about it was unappealing.
  4. Why not? is a terrible reason.
  5. Remember the creative power of paring back.
  6. Narrow intelligence is not on a continuum with general intelligence.
  7. Intelligence is embodied and cannot be located in the brain.
  8. “Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third-story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behaviour and information processing. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong.”—Terence McKenna
  9. The days of top-down cultural consensus are over.
  10. You are what you think about all day long.—Ralph Waldo Emerson, paraphrased
  11. “When the time is right” means “not now.”
  12. Trust is not transferable.
  13. You only have to be lucky once.
  14. Consensus does not function in spaces of true diversity.
  15. Leadership tends to reenforce accountability and rights.
  16. Business cards are for selling something. Have one? What are you selling?
  17. The iron law of institutions: people care more about their own power within an institution than the total power of that institution.
  18. Elitism can only happen in the context of relationships. If you are better, you need a comparison class.
  19. You were interrupted. What were you going to say?
  20. What did you mean by that?
  21. Any study of Internet culture is basically a study of crazy people.
  22. “Be careful who you pretend to be, because you are who you pretend to be”.—attributed to Kurt Vonnegut
  23. No thaw is forever.
  24. It’s not an apology if it comes with an excuse. It is not a compliment if it comes with a request.
  25. In all things — except love — start with the exit strategy. Prepare for the ending. Almost anything is easier to get into than out of.
  26. The foundation of maturity: Just because it’s not your fault doesn’t mean it’s not your responsibility.
  27. Be strict with yourself and forgiving of others. The reverse is hell for everyone.
  28. Your best response to an insult is “You’re probably right.” Often they are.
  29. If you can avoid seeking approval of others, your power is limitless.
  30. Contemplating the weaknesses of others is easy; contemplating the weaknesses in yourself is hard, but it pays a much higher reward.
  31. Write down one thing you are grateful for each day.
  32. Ignore what others may be thinking of you, because they aren’t.
  33. Always say less than necessary.
  34. Don’t treat people as bad as they are. Treat them as good as you are.
  35. Bad things can happen fast, but almost all good things happen slowly.
  36. If you meet a jerk, overlook them. If you meet jerks everywhere everyday, look deeper into yourself.
  37. All the greatest gains in life — in wealth, relationships, or knowledge —come from the magic of compounding interest — amplifying small steady gains.
  38. You don’t marry a person, you marry a family.
  39. Always give credit, take blame.
  40. Epitaph: when I die, a few people will be sorry, and a couple of people will remember me for several days.
  41. Repair what you helped break. Collective freedom is impossible without interpersonal repair.
  42. You turn yourself into the weapon when you strike someone else—in the end, another way to erase yourself—and so you do that last.—Alexander Chee
  43. In conclusion, there is no conclusion. Things will go on as they always have, getting weirder all the time.—Robert Anton Wilson
  44. Kindness is going soft where the world would make you hard.
  45. Learn a brute force method, acquire intuition as to how to speed it up, and apply it until you get stuck then figure out a new insight.
  46. Try harder to reinvest our environments with the meaning that belligerent materialism has sucked out of them.—Alan Moore
  47. Gell-Mann Amnesia, believing news articles outside expertise even after noticing errors in reporting in one’s area of expertise.
  48. Enjoy yourself. The alternative is to kill yourself. The first option is better, always.
  49. I won’t miss the circus around here, but I might miss some of the clowns.—Former Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH)
  50. Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.—Mark Twain
  51. It is better to be generally paranoid than to be bureaucratically prepared.
  52. Amateurs talk strategy and professionals talk logistics.
  53. Real success is succeeding, then bombing on a new idea or approach.
  54. Is it performance or is it actual?
  55. The more incompetent one feels, the more eager he is to fight.—Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  56. It is not more surprising to be born twice than once; everything in nature is resurrection.—Voltaire
  57. Caution can also be a risk.
  58. What you resist, persists. —Carl Jung
  59. Help wanted. No complainers, know-it-alls, whiners, sloths, manipulators, roamers, hiders, shirkers, liars, haters, clock watchers, controllers, passive aggressors, pukers, or splitters. Pukers are people that tell other people their troubles and then go about their day. Splitters are people that like to create division and sides.
  60. You can’t use reason to argue someone out of a position that they did not arrive at by reason.
  61. Even the best ideas get brushed aside by real-world data, don’t take it personally.
  62. I can’t stand it. I know you planned it.
  63. Have the right enemies.
  64. Consider the possibility that a visceral defense of the physical, and an accompanying dismissal of the virtual as inferior or escapist, is a result of superuser privileges.
  65. Change your perspective, change yourself.
  66. Everyone and every thing has a story to share, if we are willing and able to hear it.

Zuihitsu: 2021-04

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

  1. Social media turns life into episodes.
  2. When money exchanges hands,  something is being bought.
  3. Constraints liberate, liberties constrain. —Runar Bjarnson
  4. Software is eating the world.
  5. Never forget that society can go balls-up at any moment.
  6. Pleasures deferred can be pleasures foregone.
  7. “A compromise is an agreement between two men to do what both agree is wrong.”—Lord Edward Cecil
  8. Use it right away.
  9. Use research and make a decision.
  10. You get what you pay for.
  11. Take risks, make mistakes.
  12. “We tend to get what we measure, so we should measure what we want.”—James Gustave Speth
  13. Most people are full of crap and not worth listening to. They only know what they know, which is not much.
  14. You’re an individual, no one thinks exactly like you, no one completely understands you, so factor that in in the decisions you make.
  15. Just do your own practice.
  16. Keep doing the experiment as best as you can.
  17. Integration of insights takes time.
  18. Practice, take time to develop, persist and respect the insight of good teachers.
  19. People aren’t perfectable.
  20. Narcissism and arrogance aren’t the same thing.
  21. Prioritize mental training.
  22. Understand the problem before selecting your tools. Before selecting your tools, know what they can and can’t do.
  23. “Telling the truth to someone who can’t understand it is tantamount to telling that person a lie.”—Eliphas Levi
  24. Wisdom is knowing the truth deeply enough to optimize the specifics.
  25. Perseverance furthers.
  26. Only ideologues ignore experts.
  27. Everybody needs shelter, calories, and resources.
  28. Addition is the default for solving problems. Try substraction.
  29. Large organisations are intrinsically sociopathic.
  30. Don’t tell me what you value; show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.
  31. To give everyone a loud speaker is to assure that no one can be heard.
  32. Sounds are a scaffold for thought when logic and imagery elude us.
  33. ”To trust people is a luxury in which only the wealthy can indulge; the poor cannot afford it.”—E. M. Forster
  34. “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”—John Shedd
  35. Transformation happens when you tire of your own bullshit.
  36. Find the people and things you love and make time for them.
  37. Does this need to be said? Does it need to be said by me? Does it need to be said now? Yes * 3, say it.
  38. Change your perspective. The view of a river from a canoe at water level is different from  a bass boat or a bicycle on the side of the river.
  39. There is a difference between contradiction and prosecution.
  40. In every interaction, try to go in heart first and let the  mind view through a filter of compassion.
  41. Good intentions don’t work. Mechanisms do.
  42. Is your view based on reality or a fantasy?
  43. Destruction / Creation, the asteroid that formed the Amazon also killed the dinosaurs.
  44. Men are most likely to believe what they least understand.—Montaigne
  45. People are fearful of whatever they don’t understand, and creativity, by definition, means operating outside collective  understanding.
  46. It”s not how old you are, it’s how you are old.—Jules Renard
  47. ”One fifth of the people are against everything all the time.” —Robert Kennedy
  48. “I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.”—Kurt Vonnegut
  49. Try your best. After that, leave it.
  50. A good mentor can save you a lot of pain.
  51. The secret to a good life is to enjoy your work.
  52. Don’t ask unless you already know.
  53. Ninety percent of problems are in your head.
  54. Everyone is dangling at the end of a supply chain.
  55. Communities evolve away from reason to affirmation.
  56. “We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.”—Charlie Chaplin
  57. “Making mistakes is better than faking perfection.”
  58. “If you can’t convince them, confuse them.”—Harry S. Truman
  59. If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.—Stephen Stills
  60. Sometimes you’ll make a mistake. You’ve got two choices: live with it or fix it.
  61. Goals and desires are always underspecified in human language and thought.
  62. Plans impose boundaries, which can be both good and bad.
  63. It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.– Jiddu Krishnamurti
  64. “Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as means of escape.”–bell hooks
  65. There is only one hatred: the hatred of recognition.
  66. The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduce them. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.—Gustave Le Bon
  67. No one else can look out for your inner life.
  68. We don’t know other people’s thought
  69. What are the seven thoughts you keep coming back to? Want to change your life? Change the way you think.
  70. What haunts you?
  71. We often don’t value something until we are about to lose it.
  72. If you live the life you love, you’ll get the blessings from above.
  73. People only change when not changing is more painful.
  74. Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, check to see if you aren’t just surrounded by assholes.

Zuihitsu: 2021-03

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

  1. You can’t be what you can’t imagine, and imagination is often limited by our sight, or vision.
  2. He who cannot howl will not find his pack.—Charles Simic
  3. Most deliberate misinformation from authorities—especially in places that are mid-range in terms of institutional trust and strict licensing—comes from omission, not saying the truth, rather than outright lying.
  4. You take people as far as they will go, not as far as you would like them to go.”—Jeannette Rankin
  5. People are broken, technologies are broken, cosmologies are broken, gods are broken — everything is broken.
  6. The internet, like bureaucracies, homogenizes.
  7. A weak heart breaks more easily.
  8. Reality is a very subjective affair.—Vladimir Nabokov
  9. Asking for help is a great way of getting help. If you are unsure about how to help, start with little things.
  10. Thinking is not experiencing.
  11. Meditation is not about turning a human being into a stone. It is about turning a stone into a human being.
  12. Our emotions are not a problem. Our denial and misperception of them is what makes them look like problems.
  13. Secrets are things you (or others) don’t know. Mysteries are things nobody knows.
  14. We haven’t come anywhere close to scraping the bottom of the barrel yet.
  15. It is easier to meditate than be good.
  16. The better you know someone, in other words, the higher the stakes of your relationship, the harder it is to reveal the deepest and strangest things about yourself.
  17. It’s a large world, we’re never as solitary as we think, as unique or unprecedented, what we feel has always already been felt, again and again, without beginning or end.—Garth Greenwell
  18. I don’t know where we are going, but I know exactly how to get there.
  19. Science is being; philosophy is meaning.
  20. The difference between magical realism and science fiction might be whether you went to college and what you majored in.
  21. Life is a near-death experience.—George Carlin
  22. The heart of discrimination (against people) is dehumanization. The heart of discrimination (against ideas) is reality testing.
  23. Privilege is synonymous with apathy.
  24. Never make important decisions when you’re tired, emotional, distracted, or in a rush.
  25. Never let anyone define the problem for you.
  26. Seek out information from someone as close to the source as possible, because they’ve earned their knowledge and have an understanding that you don’t.
  27. Be less busy. Keep a learning journal. Reflect every day.
  28. Act as you would want an employee to act if you owned the company.
  29. Intimacy at scale is an oxymoron.
  30. Be faithfully present. Don’t ask for a lot; don’t demand attention; but be comfortingly, reassuringly there.
  31. Bureaucracies by their nature seek to standardize which fosters homogeneity.
  32. People are magicians and can self-hypnotize themselves into any delusion.
  33. “What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?”―Ursula K. LeGuin
  34. Find ways to say yes to people that matter to you and no to those that don’t.
  35. Most systems get worse as they scale.
  36. How do you avoid emergent sclerosis in the mental models we build?
  37. We often forget that what we know of the world is entirely dependent on our view, our vision of the world, which is possible to evolve and transform into inspiring aliveness, or to stagnate and atrophy into sinkholes of cynicism.—Alex Grey
  38. autonomy, when you can decide both rules and exceptions.
  39. Price isn’t everything.
  40. To speak truth is to create falsehood.
  41. Our present era of decimated attention demands contraction and diminishment.
  42. Underneath your tattoos you’re still a mainstream cunt.
  43. This person was a deluge of words and a drizzle of thought.
  44. Be confident enough in your vision to commit to it.
  45. Pretending to be above and beyond politics is by itself a political position; in adopting it, one has aligned with the state and sided with the powerful.
  46. What is invisible might as well be dark.
  47. One can journey to the end of Earth and the edge of time, but never leave the narrow corridors of prejudice.
  48. When in doubt, nuke the whole thing and start over.
  49. America is a terrible place to be stupid.
  50. “Success is dangerous. One begins to copy oneself and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others.”—Pablo Picasso
  51. Make more and better with less.
  52. Never demolish, never remove or replace, always add, transform, and reuse.
  53. Trivialise what you do, or lower the stakes.
  54. Two out of three: 1) KNOWLEDGE: Will I learn something? 2) FUN: Is it fun? 3) MONEY: Is it financially worthwhile?
  55. Conflict provides information.
  56. When you have power, you don’t have to talk about what you can do. You do it.
  57. Who, or what, is laying eggs in your brain?
  58. Suffering less? Then, you’ll focus more on what remains.
  59. Never write when you can talk. Never talk when you can nod. And never put anything in an email.
  60. Most people overestimate what they can do in one year, and underestimate what they can do in ten years.
  61. Everybody’s ideas seem obvious to them.
  62. We all underestimate our ability to massively change our life when it’s gone off track. Do things differently. Do what scares you.
  63. There’s a benefit to being naïve to the norms of the world — deciding from scratch what seems like the right thing to do, instead of just doing what others do.
  64. To say something means it’ll be misheard, misunderstood or misrepresented to others.
  65. Don’t drink poison in the hope the other guy gets sick.
  66. Few great performances happen without great audiences.
  67. Know how to win or know how to stop.

Fun With Fortune in Linux

Fortune provides a random quote or aphorism every time you open a terminal in Linux. I wanted to have a personalized fortune using zuihitsu quotes posted on this site come up whenever I opened a terminal. If you want to do something similar, here’s the procedure.

To check if you have it installed, simply type fortune into the terminal.

$ fortune 

This either returned a fortune or an error message. If you got an error message, then install fortune using the package manager for your system.

$ sudo apt install fortune-mod

Let’s create our own file of fortunes. I want to use my zuihitsu quotes I have posted on this site. This file is a text file that looks like so:

%
quote 1
%
quote 2
%
quote ...

There is a copy of the file available online.

If you have just a file with lines of quotes, this is easy to get into this format using emacs. Simply type: M-%, followed by c-q c-j Enter then c-q c-j % c-q c-j Enter. I like to check the replacements, so just keep hitting y to do the replacement and move on to the next one if it looks good. Save the file to the appropriate directory, which on Debian systems is /usr/share/games/fortunes, but can vary. For explanation purposes, we are going to assume the file was named zuihitsu with no file extension.

Note: If you are using the file above, just save it as a text file in your directory. Then, copy it to the appropriate system directory without a file extension.

Now, create a .dat file for the file you just made.

$ sudo strfile zuihitsu

Set the same permissions on the new files as the others in the directory. This just makes the files readable to groups and others.

$ sudo chmod o+r zuihitsu
$ sudo chmod g+r zuihitsu
$ sudo chmod o+r zuihitsu.dat
$ sudo chmod g+r zuihitsu.dat

Following the rest of the directory. I added a symbolic link.

$ sudo ln -s zuihitsu zuihitsu.u8

You should be able to test it now.

$ fortune zuihitsu

Assuming that worked. The final thing to do is to have your preferred shell call this when it runs. I use bash, so I added the command above to my bash_aliases file. From then on, it will pull a random quote from the zuihitsu file every time you bring up the terminal.

Bonus

Make a fortune come up automatically every time you login or open a new terminal by adding the following to .bashrc or .bash_aliases:

fortune zuihitsu 

Also, if you use mutt, you can add the following to your .muttrc file to have this fortune file generate a random signature for your emails:

set signature="fortune zuihitsu -s|"

The -s selects shorts quotes and the | pipes it to your email text.

Did you know the original fortune-mod fortune collection is available as a EPUB?

Zuihitsu: 2021-02

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

  1. Art allows us to see through the eyes of others.
  2. If you can’t be X all day, try being X for the next second, minute or hour.
  3. Understanding and believing are not the same thing.—Gertrude Stein
  4. Failure will never stand in the way of success if you learn from it.”—Hank Aaron
  5. Figure out a way to take care of yourself, legal. Find somebody you can stand that can stand you. Pay your taxes. Take care of your teeth.—Duke Bootee
  6. What you think is boring now may become interesting in the future.
  7. Commit to something for life. It doesn’t matter what it is.
  8. Better felt than told.
  9. “If you absolutely can’t tolerate critics, then don’t do anything new or interesting.”—Jeff Bezos
  10. Think about the structure of choice, the Overton window of action.
  11. Carefully discern the cost and the calling.
  12. Average speed wins races.
  13. A good relationship means fighting fairly, strengthening yourself, then strengthening your relationship. Rinse, repeat. 
  14. A focus on the human, the person in front of you this moment — and if alone that person is you — is always what is needed.
  15. Listen to the stories of others at the edges.
  16. We need to pick the futures we want and advocate for them loudly and repeatedly, cf. Madeline Ashby.
  17. Reject the predetermined future.
  18. Can it be beautiful? Is it already but our eye isn’t trained to see it?
  19. Too many experts in the comment section? Or not any?
  20. True originality is rare.
  21. Every great truth has an opposite truth.
  22. Life is a beautiful dare.
  23. As soon as you start to go for ‘volume’ of chips in your mouth, instead of taste. Put away the bag.
  24. Talk, loudly and frequently and in detail, about the future you want. You can’t manifest what you don’t share.—Madeline Ashby
  25. Remember to imagine and craft the worlds you cannot live without, just as you dismantle the ones you cannot live within.—Ruha Benjamin
  26. Progress isn’t complete until it is experienced by everyone.
  27. Be careful of words repurposed by their adversaries.
  28. Don’t build what you cannot maintain.
  29. Design for repair.
  30. Hope for the future is a reasonable and necessary prerequisite for action.—Emma Marris
  31. Look for a track record of improvement.
  32. Without community, there is no liberation.—Audre Lorde
  33. Do not do anything you do not fucking want to do.
  34. Let go of the desire to be right.
  35. The place in which you’ll fit will not exist until you make it.
  36. The problem with algos is they censor the tedious and routine.
  37. Every generation revolts against it fathers and makes friends with its grandfathers.—Lewis Mumford
  38. Individuality in the United States is often toxic, creating barriers to deep connection and intimacy.
  39. Family can be built from shared experience and values.
  40. Accountability is a practice of the self, not of community.
  41. Reach for grace and weave it through your life and those around you; a person is a person through others.
  42. A dream is an imagined reality.
  43. Not queer like gay, queerlike escaping definition. Queer like some kind of fluidity and limitlessness all at once. Queer like freedom too strange to be conquered. Queer like the fearlessness to imagine what love could look like, and to pursue it.—Brandon Wint
  44. We cannot fully know ourselves without other people.
  45. The power of the Government to spin, delay, hide and smudge is almost limitless.
  46. Synthesize charted territory.
  47. “Don’t forget to tell your favorite people that you love them.”—Shirley Temple
  48. Grace favors the well-trained mind.
  49. Doing hallucinations is like trying to fix a Swiss watch with a sledgehammer.
  50. Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you.’—Erich Fromm
  51. Fret not after knowledge for I have none.
  52. Do you have any allegiances greater than knowledge and intelligence?
  53. Truth guarantees bad things will happen.
  54. Power plays a role in determining who gets to be an absolutist and who doesn’t. 
  55. True persuasion is difficult, rare, and incremental.
  56. Not everything needs to be permanently documented.
  57. Working capital murders excuses.
  58. At what scale do you want to operate?
  59. Better not to begin. Once begun, better to finish.
  60. Blame is a way to discharge anger.
  61. Do no harm.
  62. Keep your shit together.
  63. If all options are bad, look for more options.
  64. Follow instructions, and play well with others.
  65. You can’t let one bad moment spoil a bunch of good ones.”-Dale Earnhardt
  66. Don’t lead with the facts. Establish rapport. Ask questions. Listen to the answers.
  67. Instead of trying to enlighten someone else, start with your own blind spots.
  68. “I don’t expect you to understand anything I’m telling you. But I know you will remember this — that nothing good ever ends.”—William Saroyan
  69. Do it. Then, do it again. Then, do it again, ad infinitum.
  70. A teacher is never impressed by what we don’t know and is rarely impressed by what they don’t know.
  71. People care about how you treat them, how well you listen to them, the regard you give to their point of view, and if you are a good friend.
  72. Concentration and analysis aren’t the same thing.
  73. People are very open to suggestion, aka scripting.
  74. Wait 5 minutes. If hard, wait 500 days. Some things are so hard they require a lifetime, a generation, or an eon.
  75. Much can be learned by falling down and getting back up.
  76. The best way to predict your future is to create it.—Peter Drucker
  77. After every key decision or action, we should write down what we expect will happen. And some months later, compare the actual results with our expectations. 
  78. Find where your intellectual arrogance is causing disabling ignorance and overcome it.
  79. If you have the emotional fortitude to last three years, you’ll succeed.
  80. For many, imitation is just as good as real.
  81. “Nothing we do is better than the work of handmind. When mind uses itself without the hands it runs the circle and may go too fast; even speech using the voice only may go too fast. The hand that shapes the mind into clay or written word slows thought to the gait of things and lets it be subject to accident and time.”—Ursula K. Le Guin’s Always Coming Home
  82. “Do as little as needed, not as much as possible.”—Henk Kraaijenhof
  83. People that are happy over a long time scale have optimism, perseverance, a focus on relationships, and an appetite for risk. The last is key, it’s hard to develop deep held confidence that you’ll be okay in all circumstances if your appetite for risk isn’t high enough.—Ruth Grace Wong
  84. Noise might be signal we haven’t learned to process.
  85. There are different kinds of random.
  86. Interpretation is what matters.
  87. Grab your little joys and squeeze until you’ve throttled them between white-knuckled fingers.
  88. Ideas and the work are the easy problem. People are always the hard problem.
  89. Being right usually means someone else is wrong. People that are wrong usually either still think they are right. When they can acknowledge being wrong, they will generally dislike those that were right and think they suck, are arrogant, etc. Yin/Yang.
  90. Story’s are defined by therefore and but, not and then.
  91. Any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats.
  92. The task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen; but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees.―Erwin Schrödinger
  93. To be publicly and widely mocked suggests that you may be doing something right.At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely.—Somerset Maugham

Zuihitsu: 2021-01

Collecting these little sayings has turned into a major focus of mine. I’m going to aim for a year of monthly posts of them.

  1. It’s always new and astonishing when it’s yours.
  2. The center defines something differently than the periphery.
  3. “Act with zest one day at a time, and never mind the rest.” –Ode 11 of Book I of Horace’s Odes
  4. Faction is integral to dissatisfaction. A life of us vs. them is a life at war with itself.
  5. What would it take to be contentment in this moment, just as it is? Changing our minds; both the hardest and easiest thing we can do.
  6. Always aspire to act in a way that cancels out someone else’s cruel or stupid behavior.
  7. Be an astute judge of character, and learn to judge quickly.
  8. The dreamer is in no position to judge what is real or who is awake.
  9. Fooling people only requires telling them what they want to hear, over and over again. People love hearing how right they are.
  10. There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.—Norwegian saying
  11. Reality is a hard master.
  12. Nothing in this world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty.—Teddy Roosevelt
  13. It’s not the action; it’s the reaction.
  14. Be a presence that comforts or transforms.
  15. Never mistake a clear view for a short distance.
  16. The wealthy play the stock market with each other, the middle class goes to the casinos, and the poor play the lottery.
  17. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. — Robin Jones Gunn
  18. A foreign accent is a sign of bravery. — Amy Chua
  19. To know what you’re going to draw, you have to begin drawing. — Picasso
  20. The reward for good work is more work. — Tom Sachs
  21. The invention of the ship was also the invention of the shipwreck. — Paul Virilio
  22. If all I’d ever wanted to do was make money, I’d probably be really poor by now. — Brian Eno
  23. Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment. — Rumi
  24. On average, bad things happen fast and good things happen slow. — Stewart Brand
  25. What I cannot create, I do not understand. — Richard Feynman
  26. Find out who you are and do it on purpose. — Dolly Parton
  27. There ain’t nothin’ more powerful than the odor of mendacity.—Big Daddy
  28. Thinking about theories and concepts outside the mainstream can help us grow until we believe them. Belief is the death of intelligence and opposes growth.
  29. Pay attention to anomalies.
  30. “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”—Voltaire
  31. Eventually politics creeps into everything.
  32. The license never belongs to the licensed.
  33. The world doesn’t owe you happiness.
  34. Always look for the silver lining.
  35. What lessons are you refusing to learn?
  36. On some level, oppression requires cooperation.
  37. To believe is to know you believe and to know you believe is not to believe.
  38. Seriousness closes itself to open possibilities. Playfulness allows for possiblity at a cost to self.
  39. History must always be reforged in the present, and imagination expands the boundries of possible pathways of the future.
  40. Training prevents surprise; education is preparation to be transformed by it.
  41. Education is discovery. Training is definition.
  42. Die before ye die.
  43. Sometimes the key comes before the lock.
  44. The more you want, the more you get.
  45. You can control the conversation, and if you can’t, you can always walk away.
  46. Violence has a long tail.
  47. We are not what we know, but what we are willing to learn.—Mary Catherine Bateson
  48. Bad performance isn’t self-correcting.
  49. Chunk book reading into 30 minutes or more.
  50. Things tend to get worse before they get better.
  51. Develop an epistemology that takes unusual ideas seriously without falling for them all.
  52. True expertise requires tight feedback loops and a close connection between the outcome we care about (e.g. “truth”) and the metric that generates prestige.
  53. The division of labour is limited by the extent of the market.—Adam Smith
  54. Comparison is futile, and it is the thief of happiness.
  55. “Focus on remedies, not faults.”—Jack Nicklaus
  56. Time is a checking mechanism on market activity.
  57. Too much and too little doubt leads to dysfunction; impotence to fanaticism.
  58. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes you win. The main thing is to get up the next day and try again.
  59. Kindness multiplies and it increases the universe of the possible.
  60. What is the bounding scenario, i.e. the goals of the project, discussion, etc.? Creativity requires friction and limits.
  61. A future is a world, a timespace, and the human way of relating to space is exploration.
  62. Heaven is just another kind of hell, and hell can be a heaven, depending on your place in it.
  63. Learn how to plan strategically under a fixed set of rules. What makes game play educational is the game’s creation of stakes for decisions and not fidelity to reality.
  64. “No one wants a lecture. Everyone wants a story.”—Morgan Housel
  65. When you think: I’ll just do this and then I’ll stop, stop then and leave it as the first thing for next time.
  66. Fame is like a razor-sharp scalpel with no handle; it easily cuts both ways.
  67. “We are not to be saved by the captain, but by the crew.”—Frederick Douglass
  68. “A lie is a fiction made up to take away someone else’s power.”
  69. Don’t let past trauma’s control your life.
  70. Sometimes setting yourself on fire sheds light on the situation.
  71. Relevancy is the only currency.
  72. It’s easier to predict what will happen, it turns out, than when it will happen. —Ahmed Elbakari, Tom Macky, and Igor Vasilachi
  73. Save like a pessimist and invest like an optimist.—Morgan Housel
  74. Regret can be more painful than loss itself.—Phil Pearlman
  75. If pure collective will can create a valuable financial asset, without any reference to cash flows or fundamentals, then all you need is a collective and some will. 
  76. “Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow.”—Mary Tyler Moore
  77. Slogans cloud the mind and sap the resolve.
  78. It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.—Paul “Bear” Bryant
  79. Given high enough stakes, no one is your friend. Best to know where those limits are.
  80. Assume positive intent.
  81. States win in the end.
  82. Is something special just because it is rare?
  83. Don’t get caught up in the sociology of the last five minutes, cf. Michael Mann.
  84. Mistrust is expensive.
  85. Reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.—Feynman
  86. I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine!
  87. Search for happiness where you are likely to find it.
  88. “The practices that carry the greatest potential for transformative change are usually counter-instinctual.”—Bruce Tift
  89. One way or another, change is going to feel bad.
  90. Have a high degree of tolerance for everyone’s nonsense.
  91. Don’t relish conflict, but confront it. Get it out in the open and reduce it.

Zuihitsu: 2020-08-08 to 2020-12-31

  • A great meeting has three key elements: the options, desired outcome, and the roles of the participants are clear.
  • Solitude is freedom from inputs from other minds.
  • Insanity is relative. It depends on who has who locked in what cage.—Ray Bradbury
  • Life is a game that is played on a five-inch field — the distance between your ears. —apologies to Bobby Jones, the American golfer.
  • There’s a market for confirming people’s opinion and not for the truth.
  • The catastrophe we think will happen has in fact already happened.—Donald Winnicott
  • An engaged practice does not permit unengaged labels and objectification.
  • Perfection and beauty are created by happiness.
  • Be there when the stillness comes.
  • “Discipline is choosing between what you want now, and what you want most.”—Abraham Lincoln
  • Between sense and nonsense, there is no right or wrong.
  • Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the Will.—Nietzsche
  • Dangerous grifter-led subcultures generally appeal to “lost young men.”
  • Make the revolution irresistible.—Toni Cade Bambara
  • There are two religions in the world: the religion of being right and the religion of being in love, and you can’t be a member of both at the same time.
  • A decrease in common sense and an increase in superstition and gullibility are infallible signs of alienation.
  • Changez vos amis.
  • There can be no separate survival.
  • Hold faith with the sun in a sunless place.
  • Broaden definition enough and you make a sieve of meaning.
  • People are myopic.
  • Every job looks easy when you aren’t the one doing it.—Jeff Immelt
  • Münchhausen Trilemma, when asked for more proof the end is either circular, regressive, or dogmatic.
  • Don’t be afraid to take. Takers never worry about taking too much. If you worry, then you aren’t solely a taker. Relax about it.
  • Kind and reasonable people using coalition-building, science, and determination to solve problems. Are you in that room?
  • The prior can often only be understood in the context of the likelihood.
  • With distance, every conflict seems solvable and senseless.
  • Stories not explanations.
  • Truth only comes at the end of the line.
  • Find a place of radical expression and acceptance.
  • Ignore the bullshit of the day.
  • Apocalypse is the suburb of utopia.
  • The land of the possible has many paths, and we can know only one.
  • It’s possible to be both empathetic and strong.
  • Pictures, luggages and life; everything’s impermanent.
  • A person willing to fly in the face of reason, authority, and common sense must be a person of considerable self-assurance.
  • Morals are like aesthetics, best left for interpretation.
  • Living under the constant threat of destruction.
  • ”A trip through a sewer in a glass-bottomed boat.”—Wilson Mezner on time spent in Hollywood
  • The labor of thought, the labor of writing and the labor in reality builds our character.
  • Everything is a delibrate construction.
  • Analog shuts out digital distractions.
  • Look for the extraordinary intruding on ordinary life.
  • Strip away complexity and simplify.
  • Humility is thinking of yourself less.
  • One person’s apocalypse is another person’s day-to-day.
  • Knowing isn’t doing.
  • Stupid cannot be educated.
  • One person with a mind and knows it can always beat ten people who haven’t and don’t.
  • Take the trouble to find the right thing to say, then say it with levity.
  • Desperate people do desperate things.
  • Right don’t come to you doing wrong.
  • LOVE, life’s only valid expression.
  • What is conversation for? One answer: leaving the other person better off emotionally.
  • Start with something that works.
  • Pain is the body registering a departure from what it regards as “normal.” If you can train yourself to think of pain as normal, then the pain will cease to exist.
  • Serve the material.
  • The dynamics of the high school clique are social dynamics everywhere.
  • Respect the individual.
  • People want to believe in something, even if it is false.
  • Every road is new.
  • Our lives are measured not by gain but by giving.
  • Don’t share opinions on topics that have low thresholds to having opinions and where there is little to differentiate them.
  • Don’t run towards ruin.
  • Only the dead are without fear.
  • The meaning we overlay onto our experience is primary of our many manufactured fictions.
  • Every signal has a cost. No costs; no need to communicate it.
  • Don’t feed the mouth that bites you.
  • Your fantasies have cursed your realities.
  • Ask a question. Find forty answers.
  • It’s too dark at night to wonder around with your eyes closed.
  • Do the small thing.
  • Create fun and a little weirdness. —Zappos motto
  • Change the initial conditions.
  • Puzzles over facts.
  • The people that need to read, don’t.
  • Wipe your feet at the door. Meaning: Your personal business shouldn’t be a problem for your business.
  • Power yields nothing without demand.
  • If it’s important and you stop, someone else will do it.
  • If you wish to know something, pay it careful attention.
  • Humanity is rife with brand and tribal loyalty.
  • Pragmatism > Culture Defense Warrior
  • A vantage point can only be occupied by one person at a time.
  • Better to try and fail than do nothing.
  • Be present in the present.
  • Invite the witness inside.
  • There is no final, fixed answer.
  • Keep increasing the number of sensed experience per second until the illusion of continuity shatters.
  • Intellect subs for faith. Faith subs for wisdom. Wisdom subs for both intellect and faith.
  • Balance and strengthen. Strengthen and balance.
  • Cities are full of weird, wonderful people, and people can teach us a lot.
  • Every experience can be a source of wisdom.
  • Labels not stories. Stories provide unnecessary detail that is wrong. Labels bypass thought.
  • Sick leaders attract sick followers.
  • Selection effects are everything.
  • Ideological conflict has no easy solutions.
  • It’s expensive to be both comfortable and to appear virtuous.
  • No one wants to be reincarnated as the fly eating poop.
  • It is better to be approximately right than precisely wrong.—Warren Buffett
  • It’s easier to train an expert to manage well than to train a manager to be an expert.
  • World-class talent wants to work for and with other world-class talent, or As hire other As, Bs hire Cs. Cs don’t hire As or Bs.
  • Wiping your mouth (or your ass) with paper isn’t making it clean.
  • Mine is classy, yours is crassy.
  • The measure of government is how many quiet tragedies it has authored.
  • Class and demographic biases rule over expertise.
  • Happiness is the difference between what you have, and your definition of enough.
  • Boats rowing the stream are harder work, but frequently have better company.
  • There are ways to eliminate suffering in ourselves and others. We need only discover and master them.
  • Advice requires context. What is good for the grey beard isn’t good for the novice.
  • Can you apologize for someone else?
  • Wanting things to be different (which includes wanting them to remain the same) is the cause of suffering.
  • Thinking blocks experiencing, like seeing an image taken with a camera rather than using your eyes.
  • Labels define culture, personally and socially.
  • Tests check but also drive performance.
  • Bridge the gap.
  • Don’t be The Other for people to define themselves against if you can help it.
  • Keeping free time scarce means keeping people unambitious and increases the market for convenience, gratification, and any other form of relief.
  • To be is to be related.
  • Socratic method: Let them talk. Ask questions. Let them expose their ignorance. Do not cheer when that happens.
  • Dread is lack of agency.
  • Spend over a year with no address.
  • Check if there’s a Japanese camping version.
  • Be more curious.
  • Social interaction in any medium is always a balance between self-expression and the accommodation of others.
  • Simple pastiches reign, signs of humanity’s lack of imagination.
  • Pursuing one kind of truth tends to obscure other kinds.
  • Many visions, many maps.
  • Your priorities are reflected in where you spend your money.
  • What ordinary thing has become invisible to you?
  • Practice analytically, perform intuitively.
  • Keep complexity in mind, enough to drive good decision-making.
  • You’re never too young to die.
  • Five big things instead of 500 half-assed things.
  • Cultivate an obsessive desire to make the world a weirder place.
  • Float to the top or sink to the bottom. Everything in the middle is the churn.—Amos in Season 5, Episode 2
  • Nobody really saves anyone. She taught me how to save myself.
  • Just because someone’s the underdog doesn’t mean they are the good guy.
  • Not every stain comes out.
  • Philanthropy is scooping soup, not solving the problem of soup lines.
  • Everyone has an eye on the self.
  • Every choice rules out a panoply of others.
  • Following models or trying to discover yourself avoids the hard work of creation, the difference between prefab or bespoke.
  • Education is sticking around until you get it.
  • We see what we need to see in other people.
  • The greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
  • The brave find their courage in adversity.
  • You do not have to be good.
  • Support people not projects or ideologies.
  • Every childhood is strange in its own way.
  • People are not composed entirely of their facts.
  • Save what you can save.
  • Turn yourself away from what you think is happening so that you can see what is really happening.
  • The worries of others are a largely unknown landscape.
  • See people as their best and most complete selves.

Zuihitsu: 2020-06-16 to 2020-08-08

  • You can’t learn anything with your mouth open.
  • Is it complex or merely complicated?
  • Use the right tool and the tool will do the work.
  • Always respect the task.
  • It’s easy to make things difficult. It’s difficult to make things easy.
  • Don’t put it down, put it away. 
  • Think fast and talk slow. Listen, analyze, evaluate, prepare a fallback strategy, then act.
  • Write about what you don’t know about what you know.— Eudora Welty
  • Making policy is the art of taking good decisions on insufficient evidence. —Wayland Young
  • Shut out or shut in, is there a difference?
  • To see things as they really are, you must imagine them for what they might be.—Derrick Bell
  • Imagination is political.
  • If information is inconsistent, people will follow their own preferences.
  • Direct action is the defiant insistence on acting as if one is already free.
  • Putting yourself in new situations constantly is the only way to ensure that you make your decisions unencumbered by the nature of habit, law, custom or prejudice – and it’s up to you to create the situations.—Crimethinc
  • To make friends: be ok at talking, good at listening, and excellent at shutting the fuck up.
  • Optimization: never set one target, always at least two: what you hope to get, and what you don’t want to lose to get there.”
  • Oysters get herpes, rabbits get syphilis, dolphins get genital warts.
  • It’s easier to win battles when you aren’t fighting all of them.
  • Consensus equals average.
  • Biology enables, culture forbids.
  • Sometimes it’s easier to delete one big mistake than try to delete 18 smaller interleaved mistakes.
  • Concepts both clarify and obscure.
  • Listen for the voice that is hard to hear.
  • Without new vocabulary, new thinking cannot be born.—Ai Weiwei
  • We retain the facts which are easiest to think about.—B. F. Skinner
  • Embrace the future; don’t complain about it.
  • Stargazing, not navel or shoegazing.
  • Form, context and fit.
  • …the mind is always in pain.
  • Data erases all our nuances and contradictions.
  • Fear of individual threats is the justification for secret police and brings the might of the state down on the individual, a lottery.
  • Balanced: careful and curious.
  • There’s a right way of seeing.
  • Kindness is keeping your shit to yourself.
  • First order of business is getting your say.
  • There’s a lot more to be learned from contrast than comparison, about ourselves and others.
  • We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.—Plato
  • Make one person happy. Understand their story, if you can. But, never more than one, and don’t have it be the focus of all your energy.
  • Dial the silence up.
  • Algorithms are the new aunties.
  • The hardest thing in life is to know what to want; most people never figure it out, so they wind up pretending that they wanted what they could get.
  • Peculiar competence is usually paired with disadvantage.
  • Some people imagine they are evil. Some people don’t have to imagine. Some people imagine they are good, and they are the worst.
  • Erotic projections aren’t real.
  • If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.—Dolly Parton
  • It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.
  • Complete disorder is impossible.
  • What’s the most important question I’m not asking?’
  • Observe. Orient. Decide. Act.
  • Everything is habit-forming, so make sure what you do is what you want to be doing.—Wilt Chamberlin
  • Born as individuals, then select their family, who are the people their share space with.
  • Small groups are crucial for tight coordination.
  • Advance by extending the number of important functions you can perform without thinking.
  • Autonomy is collective.
  • Ask where are you headed, and why?
  • Stay long enough, and people will show you their true selves.
  • Second draft = first draft – 10%.
  • Language is a projection of personal quality. 
  • Monetization is poison.
  • Inability to waste hours wastes years.
  • If you raise your children, you can spoil your grandchildren. But if you spoil your children, you’ll have to raise your grandchildren. 
  • Prefer text to subtext.
  • Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.
  • Human beings are projects of mutual creation. Most of the work we do is on each other.
  • Time is not infinite. None of us can afford to spend what is left of it dallying with the stupid and bland (people).
  • When faced with a decision that offers deteriorating quality of choice, people will respond with either voice (advocating for change from within) or exit (opting out of the system).—Albert Hirschman
  • “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”—W.B. Yeats
  • Agnostic or paranoid; there is no third way.
  • The mystery of life isn’t a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.—Frank Herbert, Dune
  • Don’t serve or drink poison.
  • The more you do, the more you have to do.
  • Don’t mind what happens.
  • You only have access to your own mind.
  • Abandon your masterpiece and sink into the real masterpiece.
  • Don’t save the world, savor it.
  • Loss and gain is happening every moment in every life.
  • Scarcity breeds demand.
  • A choice in ignorance is not a choice.
  • Happiness isn’t found, it’s made.
  • The wheel of life has many spokes.
  • Once you turn your back on something, you can no longer lay claim to it.
  • Shame is a privilege.
  • Different beliefs in different places.
  • “Was kümmert mich mein Geschwätz von gestern, nichts hindert mich, weiser zu werden,” or “I don’t care at all about whatever I said yesterday, as nothing prevents me from getting wiser.”—Former German Chancellor Adenauer
  • August Landmesser, guy refusing to do Nazi salute.
  • Some pathogens cannot be killed, only contained.
  • “…science must always test and measure, and much of reality and human experience is immeasurable.”—Starhawk
  • Most of the world looks better in reproduction than it did in life.
  • A good critic can turn someone into a good artist given enough work to review.
  • The Other is the last outpost against social oblivion by society’s marginal people.
  • If you already have an answer, you won’t look for a better one.
  • Everyone is in a box, coffin or cocoon?
  • Everyone wants to be free.
  • “There ain’t no Sanity Claus”.—Groucho Marx, in A Night at the Opera
  • Heresy is only another word for freedom of thought.
  • Political apathy is not a neutral stance, but a strongly conservative one.
  • An obstacle is an inspiration.
  • Home is acceptance.
  • What you hide is the part of yourself you smother to be with others.