- Steve Jobs
And in similar vain:
Are you moving one step in 20 directions or 20 steps in one direction?
I collect a few of my favorite mottos/quotes here: https://nikitavoloboev.xyz/likes/#quotes
Most of these mottos and quotes are just pretty versions of my more generalized and practical rules I wrote for myself:
The analogy is useful when someone's goal is "start a business" but shiny object syndrome keeps them from focusing on actually starting the business.
Regarding your last link:
I have something similar scattered all over text files in multiple drives and very rarely see them. Yours is organized, in one place and easy to see your intentions if you need to.
Maybe everyone should look at your list once in a while. Just reading them has a very strong emotional effect for me.
I get a vibe from it like 1001 Rules for my Unborn Son
EDIT: going back through this old blog, beware, it has not aged as well as one would have hoped.
One morning we were sorting our gear and a piece of paper fell out of his wallet. As I handed it back to him, I read the three lines on it:
I asked him about it, and he said that was advice his grandfather had given him. He wrote those lines down and carried them with him to remind him of what his grandather had told him. Those words have echoed in my mind for decades now. They're not absolutes; there are times to let go of work, to let yourself not have to be strong, and times to stand up and complain and protest loudly. But the spirit of that advice has certainly been a guiding force in my life.
This advice would have been good advice then, but today gender roles are much less rigid, and a well-rounded human understands how to balance hard work and purposeful relaxation, how to be strong and persevere and when to lean on others and be vulnerable, and knows the right time to speak up and voice one's grievances.
The grandfather's advice is one formula for a certain type of masculine stoic life, but if you were to follow it too rigidly, you'd miss out a lot of the emotional richness that modern life has to offer.
"Some bugger will always have a faster car, a flashier house, a glitzier watch - but you were the only kids that ever had me for a nana".
I've used variations on the same theme throughout most of my life!
The world is far more complex than any human could possibly fathom, and reducing complex subjects to witticisms usually works against those subjects, whether intentional or not.
LE COMTE. — Cela est vrai ; mais un bon mot n’empêche pas qu’on ne puisse avoir raison.
The Clergyman -- Madam, Madam, a witty saying proves nothing.
The Count -- That is correct; but a witty saying doesn't prevent being right.
It is unbecoming for young men to utter maxims. - Aristotle
But the writings that survived the gauntlet of written history have done extremely well.
(thank you I will investigate!)
“Nell did not imagine that Constable Moore wanted to get into a detailed discussion of recent events, so she changed the subject. "I think I have finally worked out what you were trying to tell me, years ago, about being intelligent," she said.
The Constable brightened all at once. "Pleased to hear it."
“The Vickys have an elaborate code of morals and conduct. It grew out of the moral squalor of an earlier generation, just as the original Victorians were preceded by the Georgians and the Regency. The old guard believe in that code because they came to it the hard way. They raise their children to believe in that code– but their children believe it for entirely different reasons."
They believe it," the Constable said, "because they have been indoctrinated to believe it."
Yes. Some of them never challenge it– they grow up to be smallminded people, who can tell you what they believe but not why they believe it. Others become disillusioned by the hypocrisy of the society and rebel– as did Elizabeth Finkle-McGraw."
Which path do you intend to take, Nell?" said the Constable, sounding very interested. "Conformity or rebellion?"
“Neither one. Both ways are simple-minded– they are only for people who cannot cope with contradiction and ambiguity.” - Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age
> “Neither one. Both ways are simple-minded– they are only for people who cannot cope with contradiction and ambiguity.”
This is very interesting as I've been thinking a lot lately on the subject.
What Nell chose is really the third way which is in no way better (or worse) than the other two. I don't know how to call it, but it's basically independent open minded.
Let me explain why, from >40 years of being that way. Not because I'm complex minded or anything like that, that's just my personality. Rebel on one issue, trust the tradition on the other, change my mind on past choices, choose the middle ground and upset both sides, and any other variation you can think of.
To keep it as short as possible I will have to simplify: you really only have 3 choices: lead, follow or get out of the way. For lead and follow you need other people and people only get together if they have a common way of thinking. So those options are only available for people who are (or appear to be) conformists or rebels. So what's left for individualists? Just to get out of the way and achieve pretty much oly what 1 person can achieve - not much. You can also fake going with one side or the other for a time being, but you can't form life long relationships (which are also required for important stuff) so it won't last long. And this society aspect is just one example. Another quick simple one is you tend to keep reinventing wheels.
So yeah, being independent open minded is just as simple minded as the other options. In reality none of them are simple, they are just personality types each with pros and cons. Each can overcome some situations and fail in others just as likely. No mental model inside of one persons head can keep up with reality (even reduced to only society interactions). Any attempt to classify one model as being superior is just trying to feel good about one self and superior to others, and that IS simple-minded.
- You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do. (David Foster Wallace / Infinite Jest)
- 90% of everything is crap (Sturgeon’s Law)
- If a problem has no solution, it may not be a problem, but a fact - not to be solved, but to be coped with over time. (Shimon Peres)
“I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.”
In fact, this quote resonates with me so much that I've been using it as my desktop background for the past 8 years.
It also has been my experience with fears in the past years, especially with those fears that come with decisions that you have to make for yourself: Once you face those fears and permit them to pass over you (e.g. by being mindful about the emotions), you give yourself the possibility to learn and grow, and a lot of times you will find yourself in situations which you could not have imagined in the first place.
English is not my native language, so there's a possibility for me to learn how to rephrase it; maybe resonates with me is not the right word :) I'd appreciate it!
It's possible to face it, it's possible to address the issues...But fear/panic will always be there, you can learn to live with it, but it's not a "monster you can kill".
So when it's said "Only I will remain": well...the thing is fear/panic is part of you, again you can control it sometimes/most of the time, but it will probably never "go away" or "be destroyed".
That's the whole point: fear comes to you whether you want it or not.
But I am saying that because I am "in the middle of it"...maybe people end up being able to remove completely their fears at some point...
This is not true.
Fear, like all emotions comes and goes. This is one of the first things you learn when you have a consistent meditation practice.
By clinging to an emotion, feeding it with conscious energy and identifying with it, you prolong the suffering it causes. The quicker you disidentify with it, the quicker it passes, just like every other emotion.
It may come back again, but that's not the same as "always be there" and the better you get with not associating and identifying with it, the less intense it becomes over time.
I have been in position where I was at the brink of panic.
That tingling sensation that slowly build up to feeling of total doom.
That quote was always an ancor point for me.
Not fear but panic is a killer. A total emotional overload is something that will kill you when in dangerous position.
I agree fear is part of you and can be useful when handled well.
Panic is fully negative state when fear takes over and you are running on pure emotion.
And that's what I always considered this quote to be referring to. Uncontrolled fear will paralyses your decision making making your life worse.
Obviously "overcoming your fear" by putting your life in danger in a situation where you are almost certain to be killed or injured is probably not an idea most people can seriously claim to live by.
"Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks."
Lazarus Long, from Heinlein's "Time Enough for Love"
This is literally why we are talking over internet and not using smoke signals.
There was a term for it, when something is so absurd you can never be certain if its a parody or serious i.e. flat earth society.
"Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is utterly impossible to parody a Creationist in such a way that someone won't mistake for the genuine article." -- Nathan Poe
I remember - a long time ago - reading the 7 habits book and the stages of maturity were - dependence, independence and interdependence.
So being a completely independent self-contained person is only stage 2.
It's a good stage though - personal sovereignty where you can do ANYTHING - but the next step is to do bigger stuff with others.
"Humanity has no forgotten how infinitesimal, how impermanent and how ignorant it actually is. Ptolemy has been ridiculed for conceiving the earth to be the center of the universe, yet modern civilization is apparently founded upon the hypothesis that the planet Earth is the most permanent and important of all the heavenly spheres. Ignorant of the cause of life, ignorant of the purpose of life, ignorant of what lies beyond death, we devote the precious span of our earthly years to the futile effort of establishing ourselves as an enduring power in a realm of un enduring things."
“It is not necessary for a man to be actively bad in order to make a failure in life; simple inaction will accomplish it. Nature has everywhere written her protest against idleness; everything which ceases to struggle toward an ideal, the constant effort to get higher and further, which develops manhood and character.”
― James Terry White
"How we spend our days is how we spend our lives"
“Concentrate every minute like a Roman— like a man— on doing what's in front of you with precise and genuine seriousness, tenderly, willingly, with justice. And on freeing yourself from all other distractions."
- Marcus Aurelius
Discipline = freedom
Sure, it's kind of cheesy. But it has so many meanings. The bad and sad times will eventually pass, so take it in stride. The good times will pass too, so enjoy them while they're here. You won't always be the person you are now, and neither will others.
It seems to give some additional perspective when applied to any situation.
For example two linked turns and a straight.
If you went fast through the first one, you might have to go slow through the second one and the speed onto the straight would be slow.
But if you slowed way down for the first turn and then accelerated from there through the second turn, your speed entering the straight would be much greater and then speed over distance would lower your lap time.
"Too slow is dead"
--My great-great grandfather
"We never have enough time to do it right, but we always have enough time to do it twice"
> "We never have enough time to do it right, but we always have enough time to do it twice"
Which is a totally valid tradeoff if "doing it right" will take three times as long.
Or, if after "doing it right", you're still going to have to do it over because you anticipated the wrong problems.
More quote than motto but something that has guided me through the years
That had a lot of influence over me when I heard it in High School. Something about it really clicked for me, and set me on a path to enjoying life for what it is instead of always chasing after money and possessions.
From Dr. Spencer Johnson's book, “Who Moved My Cheese?”
Often what is holding us back from doing something is fear. The fear might be important, but asking yourself what you would do if fear was not involved has helped me a lot over the years.
- Linus Torvalds (TED Talk 2016)
> I am not a visionary. I'm an engineer. I'm happy with the people who are wandering around looking at the stars but I am looking at the ground and I want to fix the pothole before I fall in.
Apollo 11 engineers:
> ok boomer.
This is the NIV version. The Dutch version I'm more familiar with would translate more like:
"Better one handful of rest, than both fists full of labour and chasing after the wind."
-- George Bernard Shaw
Basically, for good or ill, history pivots around the unreasonable people. The reasonable ones might be bystanders or accomplices, but in either case, going with the flow is simply the reasonable thing to do.
In addition a society/culture made up of solely unreasonable people would quickly fall apart. While a society/culture of entirely reasonable people, if they had an excellent rule of law, would thrive.
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
This has been my motto for about 20 or 30 years now and helped me enormously (I think this is from an Irving book).
The idea behind is that you should give yourself and the other party a chance after a failed first impression. People have bad days, a tough meeting before, personal problems, ...
I met a few wonderful people and one very close friend after a horrible initial meeting. If I just told myself that they are assholes and I am an angel we would have missed a lot. I rather thought "they may be great and I may not have been great".
One word of caution: some people will take this for weakness.
A couple of months in the laboratory can frequently save a couple of hours in the library. -Frank Westheimer
It's a tricky balance, though...
"If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room"
"If you are the smartest person in the room, teach until you no longer are."
There's a fundamental divide between those that think the best of us are only here to help the less fortunate. And those that think, the best of us should be out there expanding the frontiers.
Especially since the 'less fortunate' sometimes can be that way by laziness.
* I don't practice what I preach because I'm not the kind of person I'm preaching to. - J. R. "Bob" Dobbs
* The road to hell is paved with good intentions
* You can hope in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills the fastest. - My dad.
People just want to be done with a task or not deal with it now.
* If you're already in a section of code and familiar with it, clean up a bit of technical debt. Even just write a couple comments. If you're not feeling patient enough to deal with it, add a #TODO comment with a couple brainstorms on how to deal with it so that next time it's easier to deal with.
I cleaned up an admittedly small (~1,000 LOC) but messy Excel macro codebase this way. Much of it was generated by the Macro Recorder, which makes anyone who has developed in VBA wince at the thought. While I never did refactor large sections as were needed because of other priorities, fixing things when they broke was far easier with intuitive variable names, nice function/sub names, and comments outlining generally what's happening or why this odd looking loop exists.
* If you disassemble something and there's rust, deal with the rust. The rust will make more headaches later and you're right there. It'll truly never be easier to sand it down and treat it.
* If you think you might need something for a project, just grab it. I was replacing brakes on my car recently and needed to remove a screw that was tight enough a normal screw driver was stripping it. I bought a $2 converter to let me throw a phillips head onto a wrench, a $15 set of Phillips drivers with socket backings, and a $99 impact driver. I broke the $2 solution, but the $15 solution worked great. I took the $99 solution back and saved myself ~25 minutes if the $99 solution was neeeded but not purchased.
* If your car engine with 120k miles on it is already disassembled to fix an issue and you can afford it, it might be worth doing the 125k maintenance items a bit early.
A motto when internalised can be very powerful. It becomes something you do;Something you are.
Some of my favourite are:
Sapere aude and
Acta non verba.
An excerpt from a blog
In 1662, The Royal Society, which was formed in 1660, was given a royal charter by Charles II. Its motto is Nillius in Verba which means take nobody’s word for it in English. This motto was intentionally chosen; At this time in the west, the objective of most educational institutions objectives was to pass on knowledge from ancient Greece. But here we had the Royal Society, at that time, choose a motto which means that evidence is the cornerstone of its existence. Evidence requires repeatable experiments in science. This was not the norm in the mid 17th century."
Or Latin for "make haste slowly."
Augustus deplored rashness in a military commander and one of his favorite phrases was such that "that activities should be performed with a proper balance of urgency and diligence."
"More broadly, nobody is going to teach you to think for yourself. A large fraction of what people around you believe is mistaken. Internalize this and practice coming up with your own worldview. The correlation between it and those around you shouldn't be too strong unless you think you were especially lucky in your initial conditions."
1. "You get what you get and you don't get upset"
2. "Don't worry about that which you cannot control"
The last is the deepest one which I struggle the most with:
"When you’re 20, you care what everyone thinks, when you’re 40 you stop caring what everyone thinks, when you’re 60, you realize no one was ever thinking about you in the first place!" - attributed to Churchill, but looks unlikely as he also said "It’s a good thing for an uneducated man to read a book of quotations." - https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/mar/08/viral-imag...
I can't recall who said this to me as a teenager, but at the time it
felt wrong! I had not yet much experience with either. Navigating the
adult world changed that, but I didn't grow beyond a vague feeling
of the need for caution in delicate human matters. It was only when I
learned about crypography, security and distributed systems, that I
understood the value, and indeed necessity, of having attacker
models. I realised that the social world, too, has benign and
adversarial parts (and many shades inbetween): for example you can
trust your mathematics teachers nearly 100% when they talk about
mathematics, but you should probably be prepared for being taken
advantage off in financial transactions, whence the aphorism.
I _think_ it was Winston Churchill who said it.
But I like that it can apply to all kinds of situations. A stressful time a work? Hard times in personal relationships? Feeling depressed? The quote applies to any difficult situation I've ever found myself in.
> I _think_ it was Winston Churchill who said it.
Contrast with: "If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging."
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are for.
It is what we read [and watch and listen to] when we don’t have to that determines what we’ll be when we can’t help it.
The quality of our thoughts determines the quality of our life.
It is not enough to say you work hard, so does the devil work hard
"Perfect is the enemy of good" - Voltaire
Not a life motto, but I also like:
“Before I learned the art, a punch was just a punch, and a kick, just a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick, no longer a kick. Now that I understand the art, a punch is just a punch and a kick is just a kick.” - Bruce Lee
Waiting for motivation to take an action often means you’ll wait forever.
In military ops in the mission field... these were some of the most surreal human experiences where the structure that trained us was no longer in place when we were executing. It's not a about dress-right-dress in execution... we were already enabled for what we needed to do & trust was instilled.
When I was raising my kids, I went by the rule of thumb "All is fair in love and war -- and this is love." to justify making up our own rules for games (like "youngest goes first") and generally making life more pleasant, and to hell with what other people thought we should be doing as a family.
-Instructor at a field bus training course I did sometime around 2000.
"If you want to succeed, increase your failure rate" - Thomas J Watson
"Dead fish go with the flow" - Andy Hunt
"Be hard to beat, but easy to like" - Me :)
«Πάν μέτρον άριστον»
Everything in moderation. Can’t say I manage to get by following it.
Yeah, too much moderation causes an excess deficiency, that's really bad.
- When you try to replicate someone's life, you don't live yours.
"There's only one way to get home".
and I drove for like an hour or more to bfe and got him.
Or the more complete quote;
"Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and our grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty."
Also eternal truths passed on to me by my various managers:
“The more you climb in the hierarchy, the more you realise it is the same idiots at every level”
“The optimal number of people in an organisation is 3. As soon as you add one more you lose efficiency. So passed 100,000...”
“Assumptions are the mother of all fuckups”
Just do it.
May be trite, but it can be helpful for me.
Maybe I'm misremembering his exact phrasing, but if it works, it works...
All the returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships, or knowledge, come from compound interest.
About the refusal to be at ease in your comfort zone. If it's easy for you now, you better push harder before the competition catches-up.
"A person becomes a person through other people." -- philosophy of Ubuntu (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_philosophy)
Face the world with an open heart and good things will happen / life will pay you back.
Asking someone to play cards on the train or simply gifting someone a smile can give you a positive feeling for the day.
People usually mirror how you approach them, I believe being kind will make your life so much easier because others will respond with kindness (at least in the moment).
This one encouraged me to speak to strangers as I'm rather introverted and I've been carrying the idea in my heart for quite some time now.
My dad. I miss you.
I like it because it has wide applicability outside of literal violence; all of life is a struggle, and the more prepared for that one is, the easier life can be made.
Young Pioneers à la Norman Rockwell:
(if you prefer video format to surrounded-by-ads, they're all visible in the title roll for: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpMndf0RPgQ&t=40
Line printed Vyssotsky samizdat hiding under Pravda @ 52:04. I see "Abba" and "Boney M" clearly on the camp counselor's tapes in the subsequent shot, but can't read the groups on the other tape.)
Bonus track: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zP_lVuPRIaY (Analogue Dance Music may not be the most precise genre, but it is, by definition, 100% DRM free.)
"envy is ignorance...imitation is suicide" --Emerson. For me it's about embracing your own weirdness
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self" --Hemingway. Similar to above.
"regression to the mean" - The idea that any outcome that is especially good or bad is more likely an outlier than a predictor of future outcomes.
"what you see is all there is" - people always have a kind of tunnel-vision and will always need reminders to be aware of anything
"extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" - a non-theist's mantra
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal" - such a bold declaration of human value from the 1700s
"These are the times that try men's souls" - an eloquent way of framing an age
"An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind" - pacifism is not a great strategy, but this statement is inspiring.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" - idealogical fervor and often leads to the best and worst in humanity
"measure twice, cut once" -- an actual motto
"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth" --Tyson. Defeating opponents is satisfying.
"It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so."
"change is the only constant" - for when things change
Means all sorts of things... have the courage to; stand by your decisions, own up when you made the wrong decision, follow a path, take a different path, be yourself, be something else, put others first, etc. etc.
And there's nothing wrong with being kind.
My goal in life is to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am.
Most people are not rational, they are TRIBAL: "my gang yay, your gang boo!" It really is that simple. The rest is cosmetics. -- War Nerd
All things come into being by conflict of opposites. ― Heraclitus
More often than not what's new isn't good, and what good isn't new.
Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey
I use it sarcastically when people want to hack things together so I don't think it counts as a motto.
Elsewhere in this discussion I observed that it is a good tradeoff if "doing it right" takes three times as long, or if after doing it right you're still going to have to do it over because you anticipated the wrong problems.
- Mr. Krabs from Spongebob Squarepants
Motto/mantra from my time in the Marine Corps. I think, officially, it was "Improvise, Adapt and Overcome." but rarely was the first word included in my exposure.
Related to that mantra's concept was:
"Semper Gumby - Always Flexible."
Both are useful in acknowledging that 1) Change is constant and 2) To thrive, you must be able to work with that change.
Semper Fi, devil dog
Ars longa, vita brevis.
We had a dictionary, Petit Larousse 1989, and I used to read it a lot, learning new words and their origins. It was the equivalent of a Wikipedia rabbit hole. There was a pink section in the middle that contained many latin phrases. I loved reading those as a child and they stayed with me.
'Esse quam videri'. "To be, rather than to seem"
'If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.'
'In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.'
'If' by Rudyard Kipling was a compass of mine for a long time, practically every line is a motto.
"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time." T.S. Eliot
"What one fool can understand, another can." R.P. Feynman
Nil Magnum Nisi Bonum - from Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Translates roughly to No Greatness Without Goodness
Ars longa, vita brevis - Art is long, life is short
“He who is afraid to ask is ashamed of learning.” — Danish proverb
"Fortune favors the prepared mind." -Pasteur
“Champions behave like Champions before they are Champions” - Bill Walsh
“Oh my soul don’t aspire for immortal life but exhaust the limits of the possible” -Pindar
“Man is nothing without the gods.” -Odyssey
“Why ask my age Diomedes, very like leaves upon this earth are generations of men. The old the wind cast to the ground, the young the greening forest bears as the spring comes in. So mortals pass one generation flowers as another dies.” -Illiad
“That which you see as righteousness and unrighteousness, beyond this cause and effect, beyond what has been and what is to be—-tell me That.” -Upanishads
“Get up and fight.” -Bhagavad Gita
“To every man on this earth death comes soon or late, what better way to die than to face fearful odds for the ashes of our fathers and the temple of our gods.” -Horatius
“My lord my rock, prepares my fingers for battle and my hands for war.” - Psalm 144:1
Anything worthwhile takes time and persistence - you need to think long term and trust your decisions, even if in the short term you don't see the results.
As any NBA fan knows, this is the de facto motto of Philadelphia 76ers - a team that was in a very bad spot some years ago and hired a general manager with a long term vision. They went through the "process" of rebuilding - based on rational, long term decisions - which is not what sport franchises usually want to do. In 3 painful years, they went from a mediocre team with no future to a team build to compete for the championship for the next decade. Here is the resignation letter from Sam Hinkie (the said general manager) - https://www.espn.com/pdf/2016/0406/nba_hinkie_redact.pdf - he left at the moment when the foundations for the future were in place. It's pure gold - it feels like reading Warren Buffett letters.
PS. Here is a funny video of one of the best Phili (and NBA) players who calls himslef the Process -> https://twitter.com/SBNation/status/915208453760614402.
PS2. Here is short excerpt from Sam Hinkie letter - you really should read it:
To begin, let’s stand on the shoulders of Charlie Munger, a giant to me. He is a man that’s been
thinking about thinking longer than I’ve been alive. Let’s start with him and his approach. His two-part
1. First, what are the factors that really govern the interests involved, rationally considered?
2. Second, what are the subconscious influences where the brain at a subconscious level is
automatically doing these things—which by and large are useful, but which often malfunctions?
To do this requires you to divorce process from outcome. You can be right for the wrong reasons. In
our business, you’re often lionized for it. You can be wrong for the right reasons. This may well prove to be
Joel Embiid. There is signal everywhere that Joel is unique, from the practice gyms in Lawrence, Kansas to
Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania to Doha, Qatar where he does something awe inspiring far too regularly. We
remain hopeful (and optimistic) about his long-term playing career, but we don’t yet know exactly how it
will turn out. The decision to draft Joel third, though, still looks to me to be the correct one in hindsight
given the underlying reasoning. But to call something that could be wrong (“failed draft pick”) right (“good
decision”) makes all of our heads hurt, mine included.
Overgeneralization about groups of people is one of the most pernicious natural biases.
It means that if you can use money istead of family, health, sanity, etc... it is going to be easier for you.
It comes from the Valencia expression "Si es paga amb diners, barato!"
Another one: (I forget who this is about, but someone famous, apparently on their death bed said this):
What a wonderful life I have had. If only I had realized it earlier!
As an example, the sayings of "Wolf Larsen" from "The Sea Wolf" by Jack London have had a profound influence on my thinking.
Here is a passage;
Do you know, I sometimes catch myself wishing that I, too, were blind to the facts of life and only knew its fancies and illusions. They’re wrong, all wrong, of course, and contrary to reason; but in the face of them my reason tells me, wrong and most wrong, that to dream and live illusions gives greater delight. And after all, delight is the wage for living. Without delight, living is a worthless act. To labour at living and be unpaid is worse than to be dead. He who delights the most lives the most, and your dreams and unrealities are less disturbing to you and more gratifying than are my facts to me.” He shook his head slowly, pondering. “I often doubt, I often doubt, the worthwhileness of reason. Dreams must be more substantial and satisfying. Emotional delight is more filling and lasting than intellectual delight; and, besides, you pay for your moments of intellectual delight by having the blues. Emotional delight is followed by no more than jaded senses which speedily recuperate. I envy you, I envy you.” He stopped abruptly, and then on his lips formed one of his strange quizzical smiles, as he added: “It’s from my brain I envy you, take notice, and not from my heart. My reason dictates it. The envy is an intellectual product. I am like a sober man looking upon drunken men, and, greatly weary, wishing he, too, were drunk.” “Or like a wise man looking upon fools and wishing he, too, were a fool,” I laughed. “Quite so,” he said. “You are a blessed, bankrupt pair of fools. You have no facts in your pocketbook.” “Yet we spend as freely as you,” was Maud Brewster’s contribution. “More freely, because it costs you nothing.” “And because we draw upon eternity,” she retorted. “Whether you do or think you do, it’s the same thing. You spend what you haven’t got, and in return you get greater value from spending what you haven’t got than I get from spending what I have got, and what I have sweated to get.
2. Ubi vera amicitia est, ibi idem velle, et idem nolle. Which roughly would be: A genuine friendship is found in same likes and same dislikes.
It boils down to stop complaining and better yourself, stop being mad - don't get angry - and just work to surpass the problem/wall.
The only thing you can reliably change is yourself.
No but seriously that’s a precious advice. Don’t waste your time, our time in this earth is limited, better make the most of it!
"Talk is cheap; show me the code." ~ Linus Torvalds
"To understand a program you must become both the machine and the program." ~ Alan Perlis
In this verse I have grown in confidence that by desiring to become a good person, God is going to help me in all aspects of my life, ALL of them. Not just finances, or my career, or health, EVERYTHING. It is very powerful [essential] to have this belief; it carries me through life and will until the end.
“There is no problem that can’t be made worse with surgery” - a cautionary phrase to counter “a chance to cut is a chance to cure”
“Never be the first or the last to do something” - in regards to the countless new widgets, fads, techniques etc that are all the rage at the time
“50% of of our current understanding is wrong, but we don’t know which 50%”
“A smart man learns from his mistakes, a wise man learns from the mistakes of others”
But that's the thing, they aren't really roughly equal in any meaningful way. I think Anscombe's quartet  is a good illustration of the issue, only in this case there are very many dimensions involved, with huge uncertainty in each, leading to vastly different risk profiles for the different alternatives.
> ... no real wrong choices ...
This is a matter of philosophy of course, but more objectively, there are many many people actively regretting their choices.
I think this is a part of the power of the quote. It essentially says, don't judge your decisions with hindsight. And remember that having made the other choice could equally well have turned out bad as far as you knew back then.
It's easy to get stuck in problem-solving because you think things have to be a certain way. By letting go of the felt-need to think "realistically", you can reach a more complete view of the situation. You can always reclaim your worries later.
1. The Devil is in the details.
2. You never hit rock bottom, it can always get worse. Someone is always worse off than you, truly, so stop pitying yourself. Self-pity is a mean downward spiral - most people don't realize it's potential to cause havoc.
3. Nothing's ever so bad, it's good for nothing.
> Make it work, then make it better.
I reminds me that I don't even know what I don't know. There is a complete unknown out there of which I can't even guess at its existence. It's a humbling thought, makes you reserve judgement.
What i am and what i am gonna do has nothing to do with what i was
Do what you made for
Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.
- Learning by Anne rice after reading Franz Kafka work.