Proverbs and deepities

What’s a better way to start the year than a collection of half-self-baked, half-stolen proverbs? These are results of yet another attempt of mine to scrape up things that I think are true, good or worth knowing.

(Should they be false, wicked and worthless, well, bugger.)

* * *

  • Nothing is unthinkable. Think about everything, freely and critically. Holy cow barbeque shall be your sustenance.
  • Do not forbid things unnecessarily.
  • Don’t be a prick. (This is a more important rule than many realize. In fact it could be called “the Prime Directive of Social Interactions”, but it would be breaking it to name it something like that.)
  • Pleasures of the body, pleasures of the mind: both can be just as fulfilling, addictive and right.
  • Hope good, wishful thinking bad.
  • Descriptive and prescriptive. Keep these apart. Just because something is so in nature, doesn’t mean it should be the law in the society. (And while we’re at it, “natural” is neither a positive nor a negative judgment on anything.)
  • Question authority. (Also, be skeptical of the people who are skeptical of the skeptics.)
  • I piss on holding a sweet and correct opinion if peer pressure’s the only reason you arrived at that position. (My urination is also on the reflexive contrarian. From the excluded middle the yellow river of my scorn wets you all!)
  • “Skeptical” is the opposite of “gullible”. That’s all that needs to be said in definition of the term.
  • No, there’s nothing noble in suffering, self-denial and pain. Don’t do them unless you’re a masochist and can get genuine kicks out of them.
  • All ideas are not equal.
  • Just because it’s said so in a book, or by a journalist, or by a person of good standing and impeccable credentials, doesn’t mean it is so. People can be misinformed, much too polite, agenda-driven, making a joke you just don’t get, or just blooming cranks.
  • As blood in the water is for the shark, so shall conscious untruth be to you.
  • Even after ninety-nine beautiful pearls of reason, the hundredth utterance may be a horrifying turd. If you seek perfection dream instead of looking up at real people.
  • Uninformed choice is no better than no choice at all.
  • The most useful tool for a happy life and a proper world-perspective is a well-honed (and well-fed) sense of humor.
  • Beauty, ugliness, pleasure, pain… all in the eye (and other parts) of the beholder.
  • The proper, decent act of today is often the abomination of tomorrow.
  • Outside mathematics most definitions get sillier the more rigorous you try to make them. (Happens in mathematics from time to time, too.)
  • Be realistic. Also, keep on dreaming.
  • Mathematics works from the axioms to the results; physics and other sciences from the results to the axioms. This may be a profound insight or just a deepity, but it should be ruddy alarming that theology works like mathematics and tries to claim the reality of physics!

Also, a deepity is something defined by Daniel Dennett as “a statement that has two meanings, one of which is true but superficial, the other which sounds profound but is meaningless”. All brands of theology contain at least 30% deepities; modern interpretations (or “god lite”) can be that and nothing else.

One Response to “Proverbs and deepities”

  1. bradykelly Says:

    Lovely, thanks!

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