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.

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.

Zuihitsu: 2017-01-01 to 2020-06-15

I’ve been collecting little ideas and sayings for the last few years. It’s turned into a fairly large list. I’ve wanted to incorporate them into a series of essays on various topics, but it is an unruly mass of ideas.

However, today, I was reading Warren Ellis’ newsletter that referred to a blog post on Zuihitsu:

Zuihitsu is a genre of Japanese literature consisting of loosely connected personal essays and fragmented ideas that typically respond to the author’s surroundings. The name is derived from two Kanji meaning “at will” and “pen.” The provenance of the term is ultimately Chinese… the native reading of which is fude ni shitagau (“follow the brush”). Thus works of the genre should be considered not as traditionally planned literary pieces but rather as casual or randomly recorded thoughts by the authors.


“I have long had the notion that zuihitsu is, in fact, the sort of writing that weblog software best enables. That these are not diaries but fragments. Zuihitsu and fragment writing has fascinated me for a long time. I created the jotter category here to try and give myself permission for ‘casual or randomly recorded thoughts.'”

-Warren Ellis, “Zuihitsu: Or, Follow The Brush.” WarrenEllis.ltd. August 6, 2019

And, it occurs to me that these really should have been a large part of this blog, all along: a little snippet with some commentary in response. So, in interest of clearing the decks, here’s a list of what could have been.

  • The 90% Rule: Sturgeon’s law that 90% of everything is crap
  • The 40% Rule: When you think you are done, you are only 40% done. -David Goggins
  • Over tea, Jiro Ono, the sushi master, told him that he had remained doubtful of his own skills up until he was 50. Redzepi said that the conversation made him realize that “everything is a stepping stone. I need to continue to learn like I’m a nobody, because I know we have had success, but I still feel like a phony.”-Rene Redzipi of Noma
  • “When people can’t control their own emotions, they have to control someone else’s behavior.” -John Cleese quoting Robyn Skynner
  • All we have to do is choose between pleasant sense contacts and the end of dukkha. That one choice determines our lives. —Ayya Khema, Be an Island, pg. 29.
  • Don’t ignore your dreams; don’t work too much; say what you think; cultivate friendships; be happy.
  • Be first. Move and a way will open. Follow the accident; fear the set plan.
  • Evolution is defined by small changes.
  • Choose: hard over easy, more options over less, action over planning, small over large, strange over the familiar, puzzles over facts.
  • Find a way to make it interesting.
  • Know the difference between important and unimportant. Give in on the unimportant.
  • No effort is lost or wasted.
  • Start by assuming it’s not true.
  • The 90% Rule: 90% of everything is crap
  • No one owes you anything.
  • *Never apologize. Never explain. Never complain.
  • Autonomy before all else.
  • Avoid learning too many lessons.
  • Don’t go through life wanting to be liked.
  • Demons hate fresh air.
  • Avoid politics and the multitude of irrelevant struggles designed to channel your energies into someone else’s agenda.
  • “Look into the future and imagine the worst-case scenarios you may have to deal with. From there, do what you can to prevent your nightmarish visions from becoming a reality.”
  • “It is the man who creates the principles,” he wrote. “The principles shouldn’t kill the man.” —Frantz Fanoz
  • My problems are my problems, other people’s problems are their problems.
  • An investment is something that has intrinsic value – that is, it would be worth owning from a financial perspective, even if you could never sell it.
  • Experience the familiar in new ways.
  • Trying is lying.
  • Anything sufficiently weird is fishy.
  • You can start the fire, but you cannot control how it burns.
  • Reason is a slave to the passions.
  • People / places, twenty-five.
  • Selective ignorance is necessary if we wish to improve.
  • Avoid psychic vampires, the stupid, and the unlucky.
  • I’m like Keith Richards, happy to be anywhere.
  • If you are open and perceptive, there’s just an incredible mystery behind every little thing.
  • Find a balance between survival and the sublime.
  • Once revealed, never concealed.
  • …a life without explanation.
  • Finish every day and be done with it.
  • Relentlessly prune bullshit, don’t wait to do things that matter, and savor the time you have.
  • …the first step towards becoming a writer is becoming a reader, but the next step is becoming a reader with a pencil.
  • …everything is political. Choose a side or get out of the game. Do the latter.
  • Pole pole, slowly in Swahili
  • I don’t do X.
  • ..we come to understand a place by wanting to escape it.
  • …before and after is just another false binary.
  • Everything seems stupid when it fails.
  • It is the nature of bad news to spread, and once it was out, it was out forever.
  • It was always dangerous when the universe fell down in a pattern where the thing you wanted and the wise path were the same.
  • Power requires neither permission nor forgiveness.
  • Recognition, no condemnation and change.
  • Eat the frog first. Do the thing you don’t want to do before anything else.
  • The law of the jungle appeals most to people that don’t live in the jungle.
  • If you want to swim in the river, you need to learn to live with the crocodiles.
  • One and one sometimes make eleven.
  • Certainty is for people with nothing on the line.
  • There’s no happily ever afters, just new battles.
  • When people show you who they are, believe them.
  • Control information, control the world.
  • Categorizing a continuum blinds you to how similar or different two things are. Boundaries segment a complete picture.
  • As long as your learning you’re not failing.
  • Being bored is repetition, when what we are doing offers no surprise.
  • Better to be the only than the best.
  • The opposite of love is not hate; it’s indifference.
  • Do the harder thing when it’s the right thing to do.
  • A millionaire is made ten bucks at a time.
  • Emotions are best checked with antecedent reappraisal, the essence of cognitive behavior therapy.
  • Habituate yourself to less.
  • “Maybe” can be a powerful motivator, if it seems like a good risk.
  • Never identify with your virtue.
  • Words have power.
  • Paradox of tolerance.
  • Trust individuals, not organizations.
  • Water will wear away stone, but it won’t cook supper. Everything has its own strengths.
  • Either control yourself or control other people. The first is easier.
  • Faulty assumptions lead to faulty actions.
  • Control the controllable.
  • Politeness isn’t the same as being respectful, or being kind.
  • The point is, there is no point. Choose your own.
  • The playground for madness is vast.
  • The personal cost of power is peace and integrity. For those without either, it’s an easy exchange.
  • Tough on self, easy on others.
  • Lose your views.
  • Don’t rush to judgment.
  • Believe in your ability to follow through, especially when you don’t feel like it.
  • Be the mother of the world.
  • Treat everyone with respect.
  • Laugh at yourself.
  • Be able to apologize.
  • The real is never ideal.
  • Play the long game.
  • Ideas travel in packs.
  • Escape is the purest form of resistance.
  • The internet makes dumb people dumber and smart people smarter.
  • Choosing the right X for the job is part of the art of Y.
  • The past is a foreign country.
  • Powerful, flexible, or easy. Pick one.
  • Pain is our teacher.
  • Now is all we have. —Deleen, Babylon 5
  • Finish it.
  • There is a time and a place for everything and its called: localhost.
  • It’s the hard part that gets in the way.
  • Worry is preposterous. We don’t know enough to worry.
  • Surface, deep, or murky middle. Choose one.
  • It takes great courage to keep your softness in a hard world.
  • The world is more interesting with x in it.
  • “Why don’t you just x for 30 days and see if your life gets better?
  • Broken heart + empty pocket + failures = success.
  • Most people will go their entire lives without anyone ever asking them what they think about something. Ask and listen.
  • Clear writing reflects clear thinking.
  • Meaning, mastery and autonomy.
  • Transience is what makes human life or the moment precious.
  • The lightly burdened shall be saved.
  • At the narrow passage, there is no brother and no friend.
  • …sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.
  • Happiness = Reality – Expectations
  • Comparison is a thief.
  • Rehearse a refusal to be harsh. Kindness is a language too.
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • “[K]eep your critical path as small and independent as possible.
  • [R]each out, touch a hand, make a friend if you can.
  • Encourage a “free and permissive atmosphere.”
  • The market can stay insane longer than you can stay solvent.
  •  Be where being right, rather than being approved of, is rewarded. 
  • Keep it yours, clearly and directly.
  • Professionals produce.
  • 90-90-1 rule, first 90 minutes for 90 days on your most important project
  • You pays your money, you takes your choice.
  • There is a price tag for everything.
  • Don’t look for good or bad guys, there aren’t any.
  • When considering a new technology, “ask of every piece of technology a single question: What problem was it solving?”
  • Less faith in stuff and more faith in yourself.
  • Equality is the basis for a free society. —Elizabeth Anderson
  • If you have a 10-year plan of how to get [somewhere], you should ask: Why can’t I do this in 6 months? —Peter Thiel
  • The World runs on categorizations that reduce reality to acceptable representations.
  • To fight injustice anywhere is to fight injustice everywhere. —Kung fu
  • When a man has nothing, then it is easiest to pull himself up. —Kung fu
  • Seek not to understand the answers but to understand the questions. —Kung fu
  • The undiscerning mind is like the root of the tree, it absorbs equally everything it touches, even the poison that would kill it. —Kung fu
  • Error is the price we pay for progress. —Alfred North Whitehead
  • It is more important that a proposition be interesting than that it be true…But of course a true proposition is more apt to be interesting than a false one. —Alfred North Whitehead
  • Evil can not be conquered within this world. It can only be resisted in oneself. —Kung fu, Master Po
  • Time is carving you…Let yourself be shaped according to your true nature.—Kung fu
  • No man knows fear until fear comes to him.—Kung fu
  • Being puzzled is the beginning of the path of wisdom.—Kung fu
  • The way to do is to be.—Kung fu
  • Do you seek love or barter? If I love others and they do not love me, I will feel great pain. That is what you risk grasshopper, great pain or great joy.—Kung fu
  • Doesn’t tomorrow begin now?—Kung fu
  • Each act can be an act of improvement.—Kung fu
  • Victory or defeat. Isn’t the true value what one does with either?—Kung Fu
  • A person in three things: what he thinks he is, what others think he is and what he really is. —Kung Fu
  • Experts answer what they know. The Non-Expert answers anything.
  • To be violent is to be weak. Violence has no mind. Isn’t it wiser to seek a man’s love than to desire his defeat? —Kung Fu
  • The more we learn to shut our mind-door to the negativities that disturb our inner peace, the easier our life becomes. —Ayya Khema in Be an Island, chapter, “Controlling one’s mind.”
  • Reinvent yourself.
  • Look beyond yourself to what is real, in yourself and others.—Kung Fu
  • Perfection is an illusion, as are the standards by which we measure it.—Kung Fu
  • He who attacks must vanquish. He who defends must merely survive.—Kung Fu
  • People have the right to choose their enemies and their friends.—Kung Fu
  • Honor dies where interests lie. —Kung Fu
  • Evil is part of us trying to get what we need. All we need to do is turn to face it and choose.—Kung Fu
  • Life is long.—Kung Fu
  • No man can give himself away.—Kung Fu
  • Sometimes it is necessary to lose to win.—Kung Fu
  • Every person has his yes and his no.—Kung Fu
  • Not to understand another person’s purpose does not make them confused.—Kung Fu
  • The mind is free to create its own demons or guardians.—Kung Fu
  • Worrying is not preparation.—Jeffrey Tambor
  • “You wanna have a good life? Work, love, and thrive with people who get you.”—Jeffrey Tambor
  • “If you’re any good, you’re going to be fired.”—Jeffrey Tambor
  • “Take what you need and leave the rest.”—A.A and The Band
  • Failure fortifies us. It moves us forward.—Nick Cave
  • Constraints can foster creativity.
  • Look for the idea after the idea.
  • Most people die of adrenaline poisoning.
  • You cannot do good until you feel good. —Timothy Leary
  • Who is the one who is living me now?
  • Keep the lasagna flying.—RAW
  • “You can change yourself as easily as you change the channel on a TV.”—Timothy Leary
  • Nobody knows enough to be 100% wrong.
  • There is merit in withholding information as well as disclosing it.—Ted Chiang, The Merchant and the Alchemist Gate
  • Four things do not come back: the spoken word, the sped arrow, the past life and the neglected opportunity.—Ted Chiang, The Merchant and the Alchemist Gate
  • Coincidence and intention are two sides of a tapestry, my lord. You may find one more agreeable to look at, but you cannot say one is true and the other false.—Ted Chiang, The Merchant and the Alchemist Gate
  • Art is anything that’s better than it needs to be.”—Frank Chimero
  • “Culture is everything we don’t have to do.”—Brian Eno
  • Look for the Beauty Within the Most Frightening
  • Adversity presents itself in many forms; and that if a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them.—A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
  • [I]magining what might happen if one’s circumstances were different [is] the only sure route to madness.—A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
  • The wise man celebrates what he can.—A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
  • There’s virtue in withholding judgment.
  • By their very nature, human beings are so capricious, so complex, so delightfully contradictory, that they deserve not only our consideration, but our reconsideration— and our unwavering determination to withhold our opinion until we have engaged with them in every possible setting at every possible hour.
  • Trust that life will find you, in time. For eventually, it finds us all.
  • A person should attend closely to life and should not attend too closely to the clock.
  • Unlike adults, children want to be happy.
  • When Fate hands something down to posterity, it does so behind its back.
  • One must make ends meet or meet one’s end.
  • In the end, it is the inconveniences that matter most.
  • The surest sign of wisdom is constant cheerfulness.
  • Our lives are steered by uncertainties, many of which are disruptive or even daunting; but that if we persevere and remain generous of heart, we may be granted a moment of supreme lucidity—a moment in which all that has happened to us suddenly comes into focus as a necessary course of events, even as we find ourselves on the threshold of a bold new life that we had been meant to lead all along.
  • The opposite of spiritual is egotistical.
  • The only real apology is corrected behavior.
  • Connect with and subjectify The Other.
  • Have a greater fear of not living life than of anything you might encounter.
  • Every decision you make in life sends you off down a path that could turn out to be the wrong one.
  • Forcing something, whether a shit, song or a relationship, never gets the best results.
  • Let a person be who they are. If they do something that makes you feel uncomfortable or doesn’t work for you, tell them. If they don’t or can’t adjust, and it doesn’t bother you too much, ignore it. If it does bother you, leave.
  • Finding another person to love is finding another person to lose.
  • Sometimes the key arrives before the lock.
  • The worst four words in the English language are, “We need to talk.”
  • Love is in the eye of the beholder.
  • You should always call a person when you think of them.
  • You shall know the truth and the truth will make you odd.
  • Sometimes life needs a bit of a nudge to live up to our expectations.
  • No one comes through life clean.
  • Truth is splintered.
  • Autonomy or intimacy. Pick one.
  • You cannot put sight into blind eyes.
  • Average individuals are ill-equipped to decide for themselves.
  • When you enter 50 you begin turning the carpets of your life in order to finish.
  • Go to church because it is beautiful, not to pray.
  • Words may not carry weapons, but they wound the heart.
  • Meditation means to become familiar with.
  • If we have a good heart and helpful intentions toward others, we will find happiness.
  • The more attached we are to our possessions and relationships in the world, the more important and necessary we think they are, the more pain we experience when they cease to be.
  • Spiritual practice doesn’t require austere conditions, only a good heart and an understanding of impermanence. This will lead to progress.
  • An effective way to uphold good heart in our daily interactions is to repeatedly remind ourselves that every being has, at some time in our many lifetimes been our parent.
  • Wake and be thankful for another day. Resolve to help others. Before going to bed, evaluate. Ask, “How did I do?”
  • There is no place where prayer is not heard.
  • Opportunity, impermanence.
  • Human beings, viewed as behaving systems, are quite simple. The apparent complexity of our behavior over time is largely a reflection of the complexity of the environment in which we find ourselves.
  • A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.
  • Early refusal creates lasting desire.
  • Consumer preferences at scale mean that only the most average things are produced.
  • Boundary-breaking art is rarely appreciated in its own time.
  • Whatever comes together must fall apart, what was once gathered must separate, whoever was born must die. Continuous and relentless change defines our world.
  • Reformulate existing theories. It’s by finding new ways of describing known phenomena that you can escape the trap of provisional or limited belief.
  • No mourners, no funerals.
  • When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.
  • You can’t train a falcon, and expect it not to hunt.
  • There’s always more to lose.
  • It doesn’t matter how big the gun is if they don’t know where to point it.
  • Little can be achieved without considerable investment of effort.
  • Give it five minutes.
  • Unauthorized views are punished with incomprehension.
  • Humans have a hypertrophic instinct for consensus.
  • We deal daily with a wild torrent of what claims to be information but is often nonsense.
  • When we do not know, or when we do not know enough, we tend to substitute emotions for thoughts.—T.S.Eliot
  • To think, to dig into the foundations of our beliefs, is a risk, and perhaps a tragic risk. There are no guarantees that it will makes us happy or even give us satisfaction.
  • Scoring a discussion by counting in converts.
  • Be willing to be broken on the floor, i.e., change your mind in the moment of discussion.
  • True loyalty between individuals is possible only in a loose and relatively free society.
  • Genuine community is open to questioning from people of good will.
  • Speak your heart’s truth.
  • Do what you want, just know what you’re doing.
  • Change can only come from within.
  • The life of the mind always requires triage, the sorting of the valuable from the less valuable, the usable from the unusable, and in conditions of information overload we start looking for reasons to rule things out.
  • Less pressure + hard choices = Max delay.
  • We cannot make progress intellectually or socially until some issues are no longer up for grabs.
  • If you cannot imagine changing your mind about some topic, you are a fanatic about it.
  • Navigating social worlds requires an ability to code switch.
  • The same rules apply to self-examination as apply to auricular confession: Be brief, be blunt, be gone.”
  • One can be singular among the plural and plural among the singular.
  • A lot of human behaviors are—to be blunt—moronic.
  • Ask if a statement is unkind, unfair, or untrue.
  • We’ll ever only be as strong as our biggest fool.
  • Work like a scientist but present like a snake-charmer. —Mike Monteiro
  • Fuck you. Pay me. —Mike Monteiro
  • Don’t shout or yell at small children…With little kids, you often think they’re pushing your buttons, but that’s not what’s going on. They’re upset about something, and you have to figure out what it is.
  • Did I devote enough time to my family? Did I learn enough new things? Did I develop new friendships and deepen old ones?
  • Do the people you care about love you back?
  • Tell the truth, without shame, and with heart.
  • Art is the inventory of the missing.
  • Life only avails, not the having lived.
  • Don’t learn to code, learn to automate.
  • True creativity starts where language ends.
  • The meaning of life is that it ends.
  • All photographs are momento mori.
  • Lies are a precious currency—you have to be careful of where and how to spend them.
  • Think twice, write once.
  • Sometimes the lie is kinder than the truth.
  • “Let truth reign, even if the world should perish.” —Schopenhauer
  • A messy mortal is my friend. Come walk with me in the mud. —Hugh Prather
  • Reality is blobby. It refuses to be systematized.
  • Make sure bad actions have no echo. Learn from your mistakes, and don’t do it again.
  • You can love something and still see its flaws.
  • Longing for something you cannot have will destroy you.
  • Wring magic from the ordinary.
  • Antisociality encourages self-sufficiency.
  • Secrets are psychic poison.
  • The gospel is, in many ways, whatever gets people into the door to receive whatever blessings you have to offer.
  • Chicago is a city that never lets you walk alone.
  • There isn’t a place for people like us. We’ll have to make our own.
  • Who is going to be brave enough to ask where home is, and seek out something else if they don’t like the answer?
  • Nothing dehumanizes you like having your pain dismissed.
  • It’s OK to be a headache, never a bore.
  • There are few sins greater than the ones we commit against ourselves in the name of others.
  • Set your own standards.
  • Paranoid attention to detail, both up and downside.
  • If, I’m fucked.
  • There are few people more objectionable than the person you were until recently.
  • Write your goals down on paper.
  • “What do you despise? By this are you truly known.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune
  • Getting what you want fucks you up.
  • One data point is the same as none.
  • We are all here for our own reasons. What they are isn’t as important as the fact that we came.
  • *You always have three options. You can change it, you can accept it, or you can leave it.
  • You take care of your tools, and your tools take care of you.
  • Similar pressures yield similar solutions.
  • No input, no output.
  • We carry all of our fears in our luggage.
  • Prepare for the worst and be pleasantly surprised.
  • Wars don’t end in defeat but reconciliation.
  • Life is risk.
  • Make an agenda for yourself and no one else.
  • Don’t make decisions out of fear or shame.
  • Judge by actions, not words.
  • Power means policy.
  • When you go too far too fast, your soul takes time to catch up.
  • Slide the slide.
  • Keep the feedback loops loose, i.e., give it time to sit.
  • Assholes will use subversive tactics to gain a competitive advantage. Don’t be an asshole.
  • People are generally not inclined, or well equipped, to cede power and influence.
  • Quick to give credit and slow to place blame.
  • Replace criticism with your feelings.
  • Replace you always /never with I always / never.
  • Own your mistakes.
  • Complement and defend those who aren’t in the room.
  • Find small ways to set yourself up for incremental success.
  • Know your exits.
  • Everybody wants to rule the herd.
  • You cannot see anything clearly when you are inside it.
  • Sell what you would buy.
  • There’s no love like affectionate love.
  • Wisdom acquisition is a moral duty.
  • Flip the script. Try the inverse.
  • Don’t drift into extreme ideology.
  • Avoid self-serving bias.
  • Avoid envy, resentment, revenge and self-pity are disastrous modes of thought.
  • If you want to persuade, appeal to interest not to reason.
  • Look for disconfirming evidence.
  • Checklists help to avoid errors.
  • If you are behind in your commitments to other people, work 14 hour days until caught up.
  • Every missed chance is an opportunity to behave well and learn something.
  • Relationships should be based on a seamless web of deserved trust.
  • “Luck” is the point where preparation meets opportunity.
  • Soften self-judgment.
  • A good knife wants to cut you.
  • You don’t get to hate it unless you love it.
  • The psychotic drowns where the mystic swims.
  • Go from fuck me to fuck you.
  • Details layer.
  • If your ark is about to sink, look to the elephants first. —Vilfredo Pareto
  • The job of the writer is not to solve the problem, but to state the problem correctly.—Chekhov
  • People do not engage in rhetoric to change their own ideas, but to build coalitions with other people.
  • You never lie (except when necessary.)
  • Don’t repeat yourself.
  • Do whatever seems like the intuitive next thing and see what happens.
  • * Don’t litigate the obvious.
  • The secret to success really is making a plan and sticking to it.
  • Slow people must turn out.
  • Search for ordinary people affected by it and to bear witness to their experiences.
  • Make it seem hard, but not be hard.
  • Talk is cheap, but listening is expensive.
  • One person’s offcut is another person’s revealing nugget.
  • A shrug is often the more appropriate response than a howl.
  • Divert and subvert.
  • Everything looks different depending on the distance from which you are viewing.
  • Specificity overrides vagueness.
  • The other side of alienation is freedom.
  • Happiness can be an escape.
  • Tight is right, long is wrong.
  • Be minimalist, multilateral and Machiavellian. 
  • Write the script beforehand.
  • Try easier.
  • I was clowning then, I’m still clowning now.
  • Learn to think before you learn to fight.
  • Etiquette/courtesy is cheap.
  • Life is a tragedy, left behind by those that pass away, not able to change anything at all.
  • Evidence outweighs testimony.
  • Disasters are the fevers of the world.
  • There’s little profit in doing difficult technical work!
  • Meaning is more important than fun.
  • Forgetting is the greatest source of freedom a person can have.
  • * You don’t need internet shit, and you don’t need crazytown.
  • Don’t have friends who are cowards.
  • Easier to protect your feet with slippers than carpet the whole earth.
  • Universal acceptance exists when imagination fails.
  • Utopia spawns few warriors.
  • Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind.
  • Do nothing for prestige or status or money or approval alone.
  • Be generous.
  • Build pockets of stillness into your life.
  • When people tell you who they are, believe them. When people tell you who you are, don’t believe them.
  • Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity.
  • Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.
  • Seek out what magnifies the spirit.
  • Don’t be afraid to be an idealist.
  • Don’t just resist cynicism — fight it actively.
  • Question your maps and models of the universe, both inner and outer, and continually test them against the raw input of reality.
  • There are infinity many kinds of beautiful lives.
  • In any bond of depth and significance, forgive, forgive, and forgive. And then forgive again.
  • Memories are interpretations, not truth.
  • It’s the bad gods who always have the most beautiful faces and softest voices.
  • People overvalue argument because they like to hear themselves talk.
  • There is never a scarcity of idiots.
  • A guilty system recognizes no innocents.
  • Better to try and fail than not to try.
  • A mind that is not baffled is not employed.
  • You don’t need to light yourself on fire to keep others warm.
  • A fool takes no pleasure in understanding but only expressing his opinion.
  • Real wealth is never having to spend time with assholes. —John Waters
  • Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should and just because it’s comfortable, doesn’t meant it’s good.
  • Sucking at something is the first step at being kinda sorta good at something. —Jake the dog.
  • The Eleventh Commandment: Thou shall not give up.
  • Ignore evidence-free arguments.
  • Embrace discomfort.
  • You only learn by doing.
  • Infinite options are the same as none.
  • Polling is astrology for nerds.
  • Too much honesty is the haven for idoicy.
  • Things quickly decay and become useless.
  • Whatever you hate will hate you back.
  • Yelling makes it worse.
  • We make our own problems.
  • We’re amongst strangers, all alone in the darkness.
  • Art without engineering is dreaming. Engineering without art is calculating.
  • Repetition legitimizes.
  • Growth happens in darkness, in the new and unknown.
  • Common sense is acting on a worldview held in common.
  • Where there is muck, there is brass, i.e., unpleasant work pays.
  • Make something people want.
  • Make things you can keep in your pocket.
  • A jester is not incapable of praise.
  • The only way people change is in relation to somebody who loves them.
  • Know what the other person brings to the table.
  • Secret and private are not the same.
  • Act on principles, own the assets and do it on your own authority.
  • Stupidity is often having too few ideas rather than the wrong ones.
  • All you need is two weirdos and a plan.
  • Planning is overrated.
  • Beat down conformist reflexes and embrace your inner weirdo.
  • Leave the world a weirder place.
  • Remove the bulge in the carpet.
  • Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.
  • Burn before reading.
  • Witness is not meaning-making so much as it is meaning-receiving.
  • Discovery, not recovery.
  • There’s a lid for every strange pot.
  • If your enemy’s strategy is hope, you don’t need good tactics.
  • The deeply obscure has its uses.
  • Value is execution dependent.
  • “It is a joy to be hidden, but a disaster not to be found.” —D.W. Winnicott
  • The only thing that is healthy is to be afraid of failure—not afraid of your instincts.
  • Vertical relationships are bad relationships.
  • Rules don’t make good people, but people can make good rules.
  • Eye candy is fashion; eye protein is intrinsic.
  • Once the choice is made, it’s a meaningful choice.
  • We don’t need great governments; we need great citizens.
  • Perfection is a completely suffocating, destructive principle.
  • There’s no such thing as hatred that doesn’t start with the self.
  • Be at piece with everybody’s darkness.
  • The true monsters are human always.
  • Rigidity is the essence of death and suppleness is the essence of life.
  • If you talk but don’t listen, you’re probably a monster.
  • The essential instruments of communication right now are a cell phone, an iPad, and a pitchfork.
  • Information without emotion is useless.
  • Modern culture is all pipeline and content, like oil and sewage.
  • The essence of life is choice, the thing that makes us human is choice. A choice is not to miss, a choice in to embrace; a choice is to enshrine what you want to be. What you want to leave behind.
  • I have two families. I have the family I was born into and gave birth to, and the other family I have is a family of monsters.
  • While we are alive, we are painting. And when we die, death is the curator of our exhibit.
  • Never a good as the dailies, never as bad as the first cut.
  • Every perspective is impoverished in that it is only one among many.
  • Only completed acts have meaning.
  • What is good for tho old monk may not be good for the young novice.
  • Answer to any question: Too early to tell.
  • Make it personal, get (sh)it done, and know why it matters.—Kim Scott in Radical Candor
  • Subvert our own and other people’s shopworn personal realities.
  • Sooner or later, authoritarians will go too far.
  • The most economically powerful thing you can do is to buy something for your own enjoyment that also improves the world.
  • If you are wholly predictable, people learn to hack you.
  • In a spreadsheet, the difference between wrong and early isn’t that big a deal. In an executive summary, it’s enormous.
  • Every system has glitches.
  • Don’t ignore data.
  • Generational replacement is what shifts societial opinion. —​Planck’s Principle
  • What the world lacks in meaning it makes up for in alienation.
  • New uses need old buildings. —Jane Jacobs
  • Slipping schedules rarely change direction.
  • New ideas are fragile, since they originate in the messy madness of intuition and the fringes of society.
  • Golf: drive for show; putt for dough.
  • The child that is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth.
  • Use the day before the day.
  • You cannot revise what has not been written.
  • Unafraid to be bad and willing to make it better.
  • Be generous, be kind, be respectful of people’s time.
  • Take risks to grow.
  • Who loves the apex predator?
  • Wisdom is fungible.
  • Wild is the way.
  • Insist on your right to feel.
  • If you are looking for absolution, you are going to have to forgive yourself.
  • Keep peeling for the pentimento.
  • Full stomach: 1/3 food, 1/3 liquid, and 1/3 air.
  • It’s difficult to be anything when there’s nothing to strive for.
  • An algorithm is just a story we tell ourselves about how we envisage the process in our minds.
  • …to make an end is to make a beginning.—T.S. Eliot
  • Don’t worry about anything, and you’ll be ready for it.
  • Write every email as if it will someday be read back to you in a deposition.
  • What are the symptoms of your sickness?
  • Thinking is difficult, that’s why most people judge. —Carl Jung
  • Intimacy is inseparable from violation.
  • Objective rules break hearts.
  • Assume good faith until proven otherwise.
  • The problem — the primary human problem — is that people are susceptible, prideful, bullheaded, egotistic, dumbstruck and lazy.
  • The defenders of straight lines and hierarchies and the status quo are everywhere.
  • Be what you are.
  • Just as oral culture privileges honor, digital culture privileges shamelessness.
  • …the content machine is like a blob that eats up more and more of reality. 
  • Polanyi’s Paradox: We can know more than we can tell.
  • …there are a lot of highly educated people who don’t know how to think at all.
  • Thinking means concentrating on one thing long enough to develop an idea about it.
  • Defeat your desire to declare the job done and move on to the next thing.
  • Media is just an elaborate excuse to run away from yourself.
  • Work hard on something long enough, and you will eventually love it.
  • What’s in work is the opportunity to find yourself.
  • Receivers add value.
  • Walk barefoot through the fields of the mind.
  • Shikinen Sengū, rebuilding something every 20 years to ensure skill transfer.
  • What you are will show in what you do. —Thomas Davidson
  • To be educated by the Internet, you first need to be educated by something other than the Internet.
  • Don’t like, don’t read.
  • Regulation favours the large. 
  • We live in an era of shit floods and chaos tornados.
  • “Don’t attribute to stupidity what can be explained by incentives.” — Mike Elias
  • One does not need to state the obvious.
  • In the wrong light anyone can look like a darkness.
  • There comes a time when you get out of the way and let the future come flooding in.
  • Only those who are privileged to the point of being blind to their own world view can see stories as being (a)political.
  • You can live among giants without being one.
  • In the digital age, all information is misinformation.
  • We need to trust in order to know.
  • Tech isn’t a catalyst; it makes processes more legible.
  • Regulation is sometimes not a sufficient response.
  • Unless it’s absolutely critical, you can leave it and pick it up later.
  • If you don’t like the laws, go where they cannot be enforced.
  • Find out the nature of the task before you choose your tools.
  • Don’t fall for the weakness of weapons.
  • Ontology is crucial to methodology.
  • No universal ever fits the particulars. Corollary: The real world is a special case.
  • You can’t have ethical consumption under capitalism.
  • It’s harder to be kind than clever.
  • Are you resilient enough?
  • Evolution is not an intelligent process.
  • The best way to contribute to a brand-new environment is to try to have a neutral impact, to observe and learn from those who are already there, and to pitch in with grunt work wherever possible.
  • A fresh hand brings hope, and a weak hand doesn’t.
  • Bad bets are part of life.
  • Money doesn’t mean taste.
  • When evading, pop as much junk as possible without breaking pace.
  • There are some arenas so corrupt that the only good act is to burn them to the ground.
  • Take what is offered.
  • There is nothing but flux.
  • Don’t swallow belief patterns whole.
  • The “curse of knowledge” is not being able to imagine not knowing something.
  • If you think you understand something, you don’t.
  • All of us are on borrowed time. There are no refunds, and there are no guarantees.
  • Silence leads to paralysis, and fear bears no fruit.
  • If you pay protection money, you become a mafioso yourself.
  • Every weapon is a hate item.
  • Emphasize with stupidity, and you’re halfway towards thinking like an idiot. —Iain M. Banks, Consider Phelbas
  • Small slips are often the difference between success or failure.
  • If you hear footsteps, assume it’s horses, not zebras.
  • The hazards of power are corruption and complacency.
  • An index is not the text.
  • You aren’t a failure until you start to blame; blaming stops learning.
  • A lot of the time it’s just easier for people to do the thing that’s best for them in some easy-to-conceive-of time frame.
  • Delusion is a necessary tool.
  • Your time and attention is a gift, stop giving it to people who abuse it.
  • The internet incites verbal violence.
  •  “A thousand half-loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home.” —Rumi
  • “If you’re the smartest person in the room you’re in the wrong room.”
  • “Never miss a good chance to shut up.”
  • Regularize the trivial to cope with the significant.
  • Denial is the ultimate comfort zone.
  • Don’t make habitual, self-limiting choices.
  • Out of 100, 10 shouldn’t be there, 80 are targets, 9 are fighters and 1 is a warrior.
  • Change through study, habit and stories.
  • Doing things, even small things, that make you uncomfortable will help you to become strong.
  • Root your utopia in your experience.
  • Living outside expectations means a lot more work.
  • Always try to understand someone else’s perspective, even if that person is antagonistic, especially if you are at the heart of the conflict.
  • Prove it’s possible and it’s useful.
  • Develop an emotional vocabulary.
  • Minor consequences for failure; major consequences for not trying.
  • All bad things end.
  • Feelings are just feelings.
  • Know why you’re fighting.
  • Suffering is our guru.
  • Fatigue makes cowards of us all.
  • Every failure plants seeds of success.
  • After awhile there’s nothing there but the bottom, all the way down.
  • Love is a lesson in courage.
  • Love, true love, makes possible what was previously impossible.
  • The passing of one to two is a revolution.
  • Love is a creation.
  • If we give up when something gets hard, then we settle for an uninteresting life.
  • All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare. —Baruch Spinoza
  • Push past your normal stopping point.
  • Heart and hard work.
  • Analyze your schedule, kill your empty habits, burn out the bullshit and see what is left.
  • Be honest with yourself, diplomatic with others.
  • Reduce unknown factors.
  • Be confident in the heart, mind and dialogue of your companions.
  • There is no bigger gift than failure.
  • Entitlement is the enemy.
  • Nothing is more practical than theory.
  • Thinking is led by doing.
  • Freedom for freedom’s sake is just another type of bondage.
  • Take a deep breath, and open your mind a little wider.
  • We have all the time we need.
  • Expand your temporal bandwidth, i.e., the length of time you care about things.
  • Simulations anesthetize people from a hostile world.
  • Talent, ideas and talk are cheap, but discipline, execution, and action are expensive. Choose wisely.
  • The path down the rabbit hole is greased.
  • People also have the right not to know, and it is a much more valuable right than the right to know.
  • Invent the ship; invent the shipwreck.
  • The accident implies a status quo of human control.
  • Say, “No.”
  • Pigeonholes are a substitute for engagement.
  • Character is more important than skills and history.
  • There are two types of people in this world: those that do what they say they are going to do, and everyone else.
  • Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.
  • Never conflate your imagination with someone else’s reality.
  • Excellence is its own reward.
  • Loyalty is for the companions who endured and did the right thing.
  • All complex systems have parasites.
  • Image making is sociopathic magic.
  • Anything can happen, but it usually doesn’t. — Robert Benchley
  • The Street finds its own uses for things.
  • Certain events are like a flash of lightning across a landscape.
  • The best of everything emerges from the gaps.
  • You shall know the truth, and it will make you odd. — Flannery O’Connor
  • Coordination may be illusory.
  • We cannot and will not live in and be hogtied by a society which not only has not faith in the things we have faith in, but which reviles and damns that faith with practically every breath it draws.—Jane Vonnegut
  • People are gods of ruins.
  • Wrong answers are worse than no answers.
  • Hope is patience with the lamp lit.—Tertullian
  • All models are wrong, but some are useful. —George Box
  • We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.— Anaïs Nin
  • Conformity is driven by interactions.
  • Question received wisdom; seek and respect sound information.
  • All logical arguments can be defeated by the simple refusal to reason logically.— Steven Weinberg
  • It’s hard to be both famous and good.
  • Understanding is optional; acclimatization is the real necessity.
  • For most questions, a good answer is probably a suggestion, probability or a list — something that does a good job of deferring the why, and not a statement of fact.
  • There is not a theory of everything.
  • Human experience, in general, is prehistory.
  • Our awareness exceeds our empathy.
  • Humans inhabit time.
  • Make sure to leave the party while it is still fun.
  • Don’t bend. Stay strange.—David Bowie
  • Some problems require surgery.
  • If you are lonely when you’re alone, you are in bad company. —Jean-Paul Sartre
  • True faith is risk.
  • No one wants advice — only corroboration. —John Steinbeck
  • Never complain. Never explain.
  • Dress for the job; squared away gear, squares your intent too.
  • More intelligence, more doubt.
  • Under stress, people regress.
  • Fetch your mental bolt cutters and escape.
  • Anger is temporary madness.
  • Defining reality for others is a master/slave relationship.
  • Cito, longe, tarde. Leave quickly, go far away, come back slowly.
  • Logic, philosophy and rationality starve the best part of the mind. —William Butler Yeats
  • Read critically, write consciously, speak clearly, and tell your truth.
  • Foresight is imagining possible futures.
  • Disneyland is the American Dream.
  • Love is the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of another’s growth.—Erich Fromm, paraphrased
  • Roll with the gales, get your balance and take another step forward. 
  • The stars are better off without us.
  • What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.
  • Be aware of the inevitable limitations of any single epistemic position.
  • Emotions cannot be contractualized.
  • Relationships are founded on personal recognition.
  • Love requires norms and conventions.
  • The best test of a person’s intelligence is their capacity for making a summary.
  • Quit before starting. Avoid projects with no long term value. When starting, decide, in advance, when to quit. Before quitting, make sure to salvage anything of value. In short, know when to say no, and yes.
  • Listen and look around.
  • No problems, no progress.
  • Change is easy after it’s over. The only easy day was yesterday.
  • Adversity reveals character.
  • The right way is the hard way.
  • Paradox reveals psychological truth.
  • Simple and direct gives rise to intelligent behavior. Complex systems give rise to stupid behavior.
  • Laser or general illumination, pick the one right for the job.
  • Privilege feeling over intellect.
  • Be the praying atheist; hope despite your disbelief.
  • The story is not in your head but in your heart.
  • Be quick, but don’t hurry.
  • There is no one right way. But there is a wrong way: not doing anything.
  • An X is someone who Xes.
  • “Talent is a long patience, and originality an effort of will and intense observation.” —Gustave Flaubert
  • Do it every day. Set time to do the thing or do nothing. You’ll want to fill that slot with something else. Don’t.
  • Don’t settle for the first opportunity, first thought, or first anything. It’s rare for the first to be the best.
  • Inside every con man is a mark.
  • Rabbit holes are greased. Check the odds it’s worth exploring.
  • Transhumanism is post-Christian fan fiction.
  • Be for community.
  • Life is best lived on the precipice.
  • The fog of the hyperreal clouds The Real.
  • Moving on means the experience has been mediated.
  • Use tools that promote the interests of those people and communities that use them.
  • Freedom is not doing whatever one pleases without regard for the consequences.
  • Magic lies between fantasy and exact knowledge, drama and technology.
  • Conform the soul to reality, with knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue.
  • Follow the path that a decent person inevitably takes.
  • Devices make things easier while simultaneously making them harder to understand. Focal things demand something from you and cultivate skill and mastery. Radio vs. Guitar.
  • Transaction costs and opportunity costs matter.
  • Better to wonder than to know.
  • Ideas of progress and the urge the urge to predict the future both share a common trait, the refusal to accept responsibility for time.
  • Science finds, industry applies, man conforms.—the slogan of the 1933 Chicago fair
  • Crisis and suffering are part and parcel of living, so, be kind.
  • Don’t be the cause of suffering or a savior, just be who you can be.
  • You don’t have creative power over something unless you can destroy it.
  • Nothing comes in many different flavors.
  • You don’t have to be weird to be weird; you don’t have to be strange to be strange.— Mark E. Smith
  • Never give advice for the wise won’t need it and the fool won’t heed it.
  • On the Internet of Things, people are the things.
  • Look for the correct miscalculation, because mistakes are often as revealing as correct answers.
  • Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.—C.G. Jung
  • Hate, in the long run, is about as nourishing as cyanide.—Kurt Vonnegut
  • Don’t give your detractors an audience.
  • Creativity is the child of knowledge.
  • All knowledge degenerates into probability.— David Hume
  • You can refute 40 claims with one fact, but you can’t beat one idiot with 40 facts.
  • A riot is the language of the unheard.—MLK
  • “It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.”—C.S. Lewis
  • In science, read, by preference, the newest works; in literature, the oldest. The classic literature is always modern. New books revive and redecorate old ideas; old books suggest and invigorate new ideas.”—Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Life is hardly more than a fraction of a second. Such a little time to prepare oneself for eternity!—Paul Gauguin
  • Be fundamentally more invested in finding nourishment rather than identifying poison.
  • Mutual dependency makes good relationships.
  • Any real change implies the breakup of the world as one has always known it, the loss of all that gave one an identity, the end of safety.—James Baldwin
  • Everybody has their 18 wheeler day.
  • Blessed are the dehumanized for they have nothing to lose but their patience. —Keorapetse Kgositsile (2002)
  • You cannot dichotomize things that are deeply connected.
  • It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
  • Zeigarnik effect: Open tasks tend to occupy our short-term memory – until they are done.
  • Selection is the very keel on which our mental ship is built.
  • All good ideas need time.