November 17 2021

Communities form around shared beliefs, and communities can provide benefits to their members even when those beliefs are wrong.

Communities can feel threatened when those beliefs are questioned. I am a heretic. I value the pursuit of truth over the benefits of community. That is offensive to some people.

Douglas Crockford - How Javascript Works

November 16 2021
Tags: history

We learn from history that we do not learn from history.


September 25 2021
Tags: religion

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, the wise as false, and the rulers as useful.


September 18 2021

The donkey told the tiger, "The grass is blue."

The tiger replied, "No, the grass is green ." The discussion became heated, and the two decided to submit the issue to arbitration, so they approached the lion. As they approached the lion on his throne, the donkey started screaming: Your Highness, isn't it true that the grass is blue?" The lion replied: "If you believe it is true, the grass is blue." The donkey rushed forward and continued: The tiger disagrees with me, contradicts me and annoys me. Please punish him." The king then declared: The tiger will be punished with 3 days of silence." The donkey jumped with joy and went on his way, content and repeating The grass is blue, the grass is blue..." The tiger asked the lion, "Your Majesty, why have you punished me, after all, the grass is green?" The lion replied, You've known and seen the grass is green." The tiger asked, So why do you punish me?" The lion replied, "That has nothing to do with the question of whether the grass is blue or green. The punishment is because it is degrading for a brave, intelligent creature like you to waste time arguing with an ass, and on top of that, you came and bothered me with that question just to validate something you already knew was true!" The biggest waste of time is arguing with the fool and fanatic who doesn't care about truth or reality, but only the victory of his beliefs and illusions. Never waste time on discussions that make no sense. There are people who, for all the evidence presented to them, do not have the ability to understand. Others who are blinded by ego, hatred and resentment, and the only thing that they want is to be right even if they arent. When IGNORANCE SCREAMS, intelligence moves on.

lion and ass

August 22 2021
Tags: UK

Indeed. The UK now resembles nothing so much as a retired soldier in imbecile dotage, boring all comers with increasingly-embellished tales of former glories, while handing power of attorney to conmen who want only to steal the paintings off the walls before the house falls down.

Comment in to Global Britain exposed as impotent and friendless by Afghanistan

March 28 2021

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.

Niels Bohr

to wit: a Great Truth is one whose negation is also a Great Truth.

March 20 2021

Your retirement fund won't save your sanity, and LARP*ing Aurelian stoicism (a popular genre of Adulting) won't make life worth living.

Venkatesh Rao

*Live Action Role-play

March 02 2021
Tags: strategy

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

Sun Tzu

February 26 2021

People get paid the big bucks because they handle uncertainty well and bring vague, ill-defined problems to a good resolution.

"I'm pretty good with React" doesn't quite cut it.

Mike Julian

February 21 2021

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.

Kurt Vonnegut

February 20 2021

People wish to be settled: only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

January 15 2021
Tags: prooftext

A text without a context is pretext for a prooftext.


December 23 2020

Replace pure by applied mathematics, logic by computer programming, architecture by engineering, history by sociology. The result will be a new generation of well-informed philistines, whose charmlessness will undo every advantage which their learning might otherwise have conferred.

Roger Scruton

December 20 2020
Tags: brexit

Brexit is a national tragedy built on a chimera. The UK is about to discover that it has traded the real power to shape its destiny for an illusion drenched in nostalgia.

Philip Stephens, The Financial Times

December 11 2020

True innovation emerges from chaos. In that space, there's only one way to progress, and that is to create. Makers move forward, analysts get left behind.


December 10 2020

Programmers know the benefits of everything and the tradeoffs of nothing. Architects need to understand both.

Rich Hickey

August 29 2020
Tags: stoicism

I've lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which have happened.

Mark Twain

August 29 2020

Fear is the lengthened shadow of ignorance.

Arnold Glasow

April 22 2020

C makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot; C++ makes it harder, but when you do it blows your whole leg off.

Bjarne Stroustrup

April 17 2020

Life is an amazing journey to nowhere.

Jessica Wildfire

April 10 2020

The statesman's task is to hear God's footsteps marching through history, and to try and catch on to His coattails as He marches past.

Otto von Bismarck

April 10 2020
Tags: politics

"But a number of Republican lawmakers and Fox News personalities are lobbying the president to reopen the economy as quickly as possible." (NYT)

News Personalities is surely an Oxymoron and a clear indication that a nation has capitulated its critical thinking skills to the Telly

February 13 2020

"...Why am I frugal? You can't buy health and you can't buy love. I'm a member of every golf club that I want to be a member of. I'm the highest handicap member of Augusta National. I'd rather play golf here with people I like than at the fanciest golf course in the world. I can do anything that I want, and I do. I buy everything I want to have. I'm not interested in cars and my goal is not to make people envious.

Don't confuse the cost of living with the standard of living.

Bella Eidenberg was a Polish Jew who was at Auschwitz and some of her family didn't make it. Twenty years ago she said she was slow to make friends, and that the real question in her mind was always, Would they hide me? If you have a lot of people that would hide you, you've had a very successful life. That can't be bought. I know people that have billions of dollars and their children would say, he's in the attic."

Warren Buffett

January 07 2020

"Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by use of force. Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease. Against stupidity we are defenseless. Neither protests nor the use of force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict ones prejudgment simply need not be believed- in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental. In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self-satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack. For that reason, greater caution is called for than with a malicious one. Never again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous."

December 12 2019
Tags: vacuous

"Beyonce has mastered this celebrity age as creator of worlds, sayer of nothing"

Joel Golby, the Guardian