Zuihitsu: 2022-04

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

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

Zuihitsu: 2022-03

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

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

Zuihitsu: 2022-02

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

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

Zuihitsu: 2022-01

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

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

Zuihitsu: 2021-12

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

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

Zuihitsu: 2021-11

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

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

Zuihitsu: 2021-10

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

  1. Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.—Josephine Hart
  2. Life is a perpetual act of self-authorization.
  3. What cannot be summarized can only be experienced.
  4. Attempts to escape the physical world find it stubbornly persists.
  5. Instead of lightening our burdens, make them heavier. You might decide to put it down.
  6. Suffering is believing there is an escape.
  7. Ought implies can. Are you able?
  8. Get on with what counts most and let the other chips fall where they may.
  9. Lower the stakes.
  10. The best work is work we aren’t sure we can do.
  11. Writer’s block is a reluctance to write poorly.
  12. Hoist an unwanted confidence on someone today.
  13. A genius in the one most like himself.—Theolonious Monk
  14. Make a list of what you want to say. What comes first? What’s last?
  15. Write down what you see.
  16. Ask again.
  17. You can close your eyes, but you can’t close your ears.
  18. You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.—Carl Jung
  19. You cannot change people or organizations. They can only be made anew.
  20. Find balance between building capacity vs. getting things done.
  21. Don’t confuse motion with progress.
  22. Little is learned from comfort.
  23. Thinking about anything that is not happening in the moment comes with an emotional cost.
  24. The question is not what you look at, but what you see.—H.D. Thoreau
  25. Nostalgia is slow repetition.
  26. Never stay stationary. Repeat, vary, evolve.
  27. Society evolves one funeral at a time.
  28. Patience and commitment are the keys to perseverance.
  29. All advice is contextual, yet it is rarely delivered with any context.
  30. Everyone is scarred by past experience.
  31. Sharpening is a prelude, not a substitute, for cutting.
  32. Just because someone doesn’t share their opinions doesn’t mean they don’t have any.
  33. Everything that is important is explainable.
  34. Everyone wants you to tell them their $0.02.
  35. Data is computation in a trench coat.
  36. Opacity has its purposes.
  37. Artists are the antenna of civilization.—Ezra Pound
  38. New selves first emerge in simulacrum.
  39. Make things you want to see and put on your own shows.
  40. This world values children, not childhood—Bioshock Infinite, Burial at Sea
  41. There are only personal apocalypses. Nothing is a cliche when it’s happening to you.—Max Payne
  42. I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.—Joshua Graham, Fallout New Vegas
  43. The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world.–G-Man, Half Life 2
  44. A man chooses, a slave obeys.
  45. Surviving is winning, Franklin, everything else is bullshit.— Michael from GTA V
  46. [H]uman beings define their reality through suffering and misery.—Agent Smith, The Matrix
  47. The point of travel is to experience things you haven’t.—Freddie deBoer
  48. Resist optimization culture.—Freddie deBoer
  49. Don’t cling to the nurse out of fear of something worse.
  50. Nothing is easier than to become subhuman.
  51. Love for the wrong person will destroy you.
  52. Do you want truth or comfort?
  53. Even tainted knowledge can point the discerning to truth.
  54. Not all families last.
  55. Even gods want mysteries.
  56. Risky odds are better than none.
  57. People that serve everyone can be trusted by no one.
  58. Pleasure is often used as a weapon.
  59. Meaning lies everywhere around us and within us.
  60. We live many lives, die many deaths. But in each of these lives and deaths all the others are present, and we can hear their echo.—paraphrased Roberto Calasso
  61. Always show up and keep showing up.
  62. Nothing is safe but what we put at risk.
  63. Report to the heavens the true features of the human story.
  64. Being early is the same as being wrong.
  65. The desire for consistency is a source for poor decision-making.
  66. Optimize for variance.
  67. Look for unrecognized value.
  68. Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.—Oscar Wilde
  69. Put yourself in the path of discovery. Discover something new every day.
  70. Mental models tend to be grounded in experiences in a material world. 
  71. Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.—Frank Herbert, Dune
  72. Everything is more beautiful when you’re doomed.
  73. The purpose of death is release of love.—Laurie Anderson
  74. Create the reality you want to live in.
  75. Are you thinking or rearranging your prejudices?
  76. Mass media homogenizes minds.
  77. Wanting to do it is almost always enough qualification.
  78. All publicity works upon anxiety.—John Berger
  79. It is not a war, but it’s a fight.—Annick Girardin
  80. You are free to do whatever you want. You need only face the consequences.—Sheldon Kopp
  81. Love is not enough, but it sure helps.—Sheldon Kopp
  82. All important decisions must be made with incomplete information, and yet, we are still responsible.
  83. Heroes imply diminishment.
  84. You’re not going to get everything you want.
  85. The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things.—Rilke
  86. Disillusion can be positive.
  87. The key to doing anything well is preparation.
  88. Self-discipline, self-control and the ability to work when we’d rather not is more important than intelligence.
  89. The triumph of culture is to overpower nationality.– Ralph Waldo Emerson. Corollary: Nationalism triumphs when culture is weak.
  90. Being known by strangers, and, even more dangerously, seeking their approval, is an existential trap.
  91. Too much money breeds arrogance, bad behavior, and jealousy, and society just loves to take it down.
  92. Sometimes not quitting is avoiding the harder thing, confronting the uncertainty of change.
  93. Everybody’s battling something at the gym, the bigger people are deeper into the struggle.

An Eschatological Laundry List: By Sheldon Kopp (1974)

“10. The world is not necessarily just. Being good often does not pay off and there is no compensation for misfortune…

23. Evil can be displaced but never eradicated, as all solutions breed new problems…

29. Love is not enough, but it sure helps…

41. You are free to do whatever you want. You need only face the consequences.

—Sheldon Kopp, “An Eschatological Laundry list.” The Therapeutic Care Journal. October 1, 2016.

Zuihitsu: What Is It?

“The Japanese describe the genre as “a running brush” as it does not lie so much in the subjects it deals with but rather in the movement of the wind. The style consists of personal interconnected essays or fragmented ideas that respond to the author’s surroundings; however, these “essays” jump from one to the other by association, as the mind does as it distractedly meditates and memories, abstractions, extracts of other texts, lists, opinions, dreams and poems crop up. It gathers all of the inventory that we are, Calvino would say.

In zuihitsu we feel the writing process and touch the textures of the author’s mind more than the themes or subjects referred to, which is why it is often translated as “miscellany” or “miscellaneous essay;” there is no central point but rather parts that interact with each other. There could be, for example, parts in verse, and which is perhaps the best vehicle for an idea, and parts in prose, whose function is to absorb the sentimentalism in a way that verse cannot. Reading or writing zuihitsu is, in short, to see how the form changes the content.”

-“Zuihitsu: The Literary Genre In Which The Text Can Drift Like A Cloud.” faena.com

I liked this definition and included in my about page:

“[S]he writes personally and casually, for the joy of it, about anything that comes to mind, providing that what she thinks might impress readers…excluding anything completely fictional.”

-Stephen Carter, ed. Introduction to The Columbia Anthology of Japanese Essays: Zuihitsu from the Tenth to the Twenty-First Century. Washington, D.C: Columbia University Press, 2014.

Zuihitsu: 2021-09

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

  1. What is the underlying issue of the dispute?
  2. The Internet is a machine for wrecking consensus and trust.—Marginal Revolution
  3. To correct a mistake, acknowledge a mistake has been made and state any new information necessary. Don’t repeat whatever needed correcting. 
  4. The world rewards you for outcomes, not effort.
  5. What would make you change your mind?
  6. You can never go back. Change cannot be undone.
  7. Change tends to effect relationships with everything.
  8. Some goals require being and not having.
  9. Extending our senses also means limiting them. The microscope and telescope changes our view completely and are valuable as alternatives that can be used at will.
  10. Vanity Fair is in our pockets and it is always open for business.
  11. We should be wary of allowing the logic of the market to colonize all facets of our experience.
  12. Only the experience of sharing a common human world with others who look at it from different perspectives can enable us to see reality in the round and to develop a shared common sense.—Hannah Arendt
  13. Codes, even the best codes, can become idolatrous traps that tempt us to complicity in violence.—Charles Tayler
  14. What frames what?
  15. To betray, you must first belong.—Kim Philby
  16. Only the paranoid survive in a computerized world.
  17. You teach best what you most need to learn.—Richard Bach
  18. The best problems are insoluble.
  19. Management is a discipline. When used as an incentive, it becomes something else.
  20. Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise.
  21. Sometimes dreams are poison.
  22. The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude larger than to produce it.—Brandolini’s law
  23. Sing the newspaper.
  24. The point of abstracting responsiblity to policies, algorithms, bureaucracies, etc. is to replace anger with disbelief and resignation.
  25. Talent is the capacity for doing continuous hard work in the right way.
  26. Fan is an abbreviation of fanatic.
  27. The correct value of most of our assets is zero.
  28. No past, no future.
  29. Human behavior is driven by love or want of love.
  30. Do your best, and as you improve, do better.
  31. Escape the sociology of the last five minutes.—cf. Michael Mann
  32. Military veterans don’t laugh at the circus.
  33. Most people are interested in discovering the truth, if it is within walking distance.
  34. Disruption is never one variable, but a wholesale revisiting of all the variables.
  35. Comfort always comes at a cost.
  36. The earth is slippery, slick.—Nahuatl proverb
  37. Write to tell stories, not explain research.
  38. Never a day without a line.
  39. Silence doesn’t allow for difference or self-aggrandizement.
  40. Avoid strain, anxiety and tension.
  41. Misuse of words leads to abuse of people.
  42. Learn to hear what you’d rather not hear.
  43. The sedated cannot be engaged.
  44. Loneliness can be like air, something unnoticed until it is gone.
  45. Intimacy comes when there is nothing left to say.
  46. Reality binds everybody to limits.
  47. Commerce reduces product to commodity.
  48. Be a sound craftsman, in whatever work you choose to do.
  49. If you’re big on the Internet, three likely outcomes: you burn out, you get cancelled, or you disappear.
  50. A weird paradox of the Internet. It amplifies and aggregates, which, in turn, creates new niches.
  51. What’s the lingering cost of life lived on a pedestal?
  52. In the firehose of faces, you need a strategy to stand out. Be unique.
  53. Identify the best tool for the job, and use it.
  54. Hard problems can be made smaller and/or reframed into easier problems.
  55. Always seek to better yourself and your tools.
  56. Volume is just about the number of fools.
  57. The secret ingredient to anything great is love.
  58. All progress runs the risk of bad precedents. No decision worth making is free of potentially bad consequences.
  59. In some games, there is no such thing as overkill.
  60. Do not shit where you sleep.
  61. One with courage makes a majority.
  62. Commitment means compounded returns on effort and creates meaning.
  63. There are no rules; there are only targets.
  64. Technology changes exponentially but our institutions adapt only linearly, if at all. 
  65. Selective with strong citation.
  66. Everything digital is mental representation that can be changed as the mind changes.
  67. Creativity rarely emerges rapidly.
  68. Run away from monoculture.
  69. Having our perception of the world increasingly mediated by proprietary technologies that immerse us in ever more sophisticated realms of digital simulacra is a way of surrendering the experience of a shared reality with others.
  70. The final form of the physical store is an environment where prospective or existing customers just hang out, marinating in the brand without necessarily buying anything while inside.
  71. Our stories fit reality to the narrative instead of the narrative to reality, i.e., they are fictions.
  72. Look for things that don’t make sense.
  73. There is no clean way to enter the heavy machinery of the heart.—This is the Nonsense of Love by Mindy Nettifee
  74. Only those who do not seek power are qualified to hold it.–Plato
  75. To be happy, be unashamed.
  76. Very occasionally, it is okay to be angry, even with the gods, but anger as a default mode is poison.
  77. Sigmoid or singular?
  78. Payments is the most frequent and effective means of controlling discourse.
  79. Markets roll over when you least expect.
  80. People often signal left, only to turn right. Turns over signals.
  81. Focus on process over results. Work on multiple problems and rotate them. Discuss with people who perceive it differently and can help.
  82. Pour les encourager les autres.