- 2020-03-02 12:05:01
◆ 信息 >> 遇到我们不了解、不清楚的东西时，我们的解决办法是对我们自己的人生观和世界观进行“拉伸”或者“压缩”，强迫它们符合世俗的、预设的、人为制定的观念、门类和套路。
>> To bankrupta fool , give him information
>> In science you need to understand the world; in business you need others to misunderstand it.
>> Work destroys your soul by stealthily invading your brain during the hours not officially spent working; be selective about professions.
◆ COUNTER NARRATIVES
>> They will envy you for your success, for your wealth, for your intelligence, for your looks, for your status —but rarely for your wisdom.
>> The characteristic feature of the loser is to bemoan, in general terms, mankind's flaws, biases, contradictions, and irrationality—without exploiting them for fun and profit.
>> The test of whether you really liked a book is if you reread it (and how many times); the test of whether you really liked someone's company is if you are ready to meet him again and again—the rest is spin, or that variety of sentiment now called self-esteem.
>> We ask "why is he rich (or poor)?" not"why isn't he richer (or poorer)?";"why is the crisis so deep?" not "why isn't it deeper?".
>> It is the appearance of inconsistency, and not its absence, that makes people attractive.
>> We call narcissistic those individuals who behave as if they were the central residents of the world; those who do exactly the same in a set of two we call lovers.
>> Wisdom in the young is as unattractive as frivolity in the elderly.
◆ MATTERS ONTOLOGICAL
>> It is a very recent disease to mistake the unobserved for the nonexistent.
>> Asking science to explain life and vital matters is equivalent to asking a grammarian to explain poetry.
>> You exist if and only if you are free to do things without a visible objective, with no justification and, above all, outside the dictatorship of someone else's narrative.
◆ THE SACRED AND THE PROFANE
>> If you can't spontaneously detect (without analyzing) the difference between sacred and profane, you'll never know what religion means. You will also never figure out what we commonly call art. You will never understand anything.
>> The source of the tragic in history is in mistaking someone else's unconditional for conditional—and the reverse.
>> it is easier to fast than diet.
>> To be completely cured of newspapers, spend a year reading the previous week's newspapers.
◆ CHANCE, SUCCANESS, HAPPINESS, AND STOICISM
>> Success is becoming in middle adulthood what you dreamed to be in late childhood. The rest comes from loss of control.
>> The opposite of success isn't failure, it is namedropping.
>> Modernity needs to understand that being rich and becoming rich are not mathematically, personally, socially, and ethically the same thing.
Or, making him fucking disappear as a fart
>> Fortune punishes the greedy by making him poor and the very greedy by making him rich.
>> Fortune punishes the greedy by making him poor and the very greedy by making him rich.
>> "unwealth", that is, the difference, at any point in time, between what you have and what you would like to have.
>> What fools call "wasting time" is most often the best investment.
>> You want to avoid being disliked without being envied or admired.
>> Read nothing from the past 100 years; eat no fruits from the past 1,000 years; drink nothing from the past 4,000 years (just wine and water); but talk to no ordinary man over 40. A man without a heroic bent starts dying at the age of 30.
>> Karl Marx, a visionary, figured out that you can control a slave much better by convincing him he is an employee.
>> You will be civilized on the day when you can spend a long period doing nothing, learning nothing, and improving nothing, without feeling the slightest amount of guilt.
>> Someone who says "I am busy" is either declaring incompetence (and lack of control of his life) or trying to get rid of you.
>> The difference between slaves in Roman and Ottoman days and today's employees is that slaves did not need to flatter their boss.
>> You are rich if and only if money you refuse tastes better than money you accept.
>> To see if you like where you are, without the chains of dependence, check if you are as happy returning as you were leaving.
>> The difference between love and happiness is that those who talk about love tend to be in love, but those who talk about happiness tend to be not happy.
>> Modernity: we created youth without heroism, age without wisdom, and life without grandeur.
>> The Web is an unhealthy place for someone hungry for attention.
>> People focus on role models; it is more effective to find antimodels people you don't want to resemble when you grow up.
>> It is a good practice to always apologize, except when you have done something wrong.
>> It is as difficult to change someone's opinions as it is to change his tastes.
>> Charm is the ability to insult people without offending them.
>> Those who do not think that employment is systemic slavery are either blind or employed.
>> They are born then put in a box, they go home to live in a box, they study by ticking boxes, they go to what is called"work" in a box, where they sit in their cubicle box, they drive to the grocery store in a box to buy food in a box; they go to the gym in a box to sit in a box; they talk about thinking "outside the box"; and when they die they are put in a box. All boxes, Euclidian, geometrically smooth boxes.
>> The 20th century was the bankruptcy of the social utopia. The 21st will be that of the technological one.
>> Efforts at building social, political, and medical utopias have caused nightmares; many cures and techniques came from martial efforts.
◆ CHARCMING AND LESS CHARMING SUCKER PROBLEMS
>> It seems that it is the most unsuccessful people who give the most advice, particularly for writing and financial matters.
>> Rumors are only valuable when they are denied.
>> Over the long term, you are more likely to fool yourself than others.
>> There are two types of people: those who try to win and those who try to win arguments. They are never the same.
>> People usually apologize so they can do it again.
>> Mathematics is to knowledge what an artificial hand is to the real one; some amputate to replace.
>> Social media are severely antisocial, health foods are empirically unhealthy, knowledge workers are very ignorant, and social sciences aren't scientific at all.
>> For so many, instead of looking for"cause of death" when they expire, we should be looking for "cause of life" when they are still around.
>> If someone gives you more than one reason why he wants the job, don't hire him.
◆ THESEUS,OR,LIVING THE PALEO LIFE
>> My only measure of success is how much time you have to kill.
>> Men destroy each other during war; themselves during peacetime.
>> Technology can degrade (and endanger) every aspect of a sucker's life while convincing him that it is becoming more"efficient".
>> The difference between technology and slavery is that slaves are fully aware that they are not free.
>> You have a real life if and only if you do not compete with anyone in any of your pursuits.
>> We are satisfied with natural (or old) objects like vistas or classical paintings but insatiable with technologies, amplifying small improvements in versions, obsessed about 2.0, caught in a mental treadmill.
>> For everything, use boredom in place of a clock, as a biological wristwatch, though under constraints of politeness.
>> For a classicist, a competitive athlete is painful to look at; trying hard to become an animal rather than a man,
>> You exist in full if and only if your conversation (or writings) cannot be easily reconstructed with clips from other conversations.
>> Technology is at its best when it is invisible.
>> wonder how alpha lions, the strongest, expend the least amount of energy, sleeping twenty hours a day
◆ THE REPUBLIC OF LETTERS
>> Writing is the art of repeating oneself without anyone noticing.
>> Most people write so they can remember things; I write to forget.
>> What they call philosophy I call literature; what they call literature I call journalism; what they call journalism I call gossip; and what they call gossip I call (generously) voyeurism.
>> Writers are remembered for their best work, politicians for their worst mistakes, and businessmen are almost never remembered.
>> For pleasure, read one chapter by Nabokov. For punishment, two.
>> There is a distinction between expressive hypochondria and literature, just as there is one between self-help and philosophy.
>> You need to keep reminding yourself of the obvious: charm lies in the unsaid, the unwritten, and the undisplayed. It takes mastery to control silence.
>> No author should be considered as having failed until he starts teaching others about writing.
>> Hard science gives sensational results with a horribly boring process; philosophy gives boring results with a sensational process; literature gives sensational results with a sensational process; and economics gives boring results with a boring process.
>> Just as there are authors who enjoy having written and others who enjoy writing, there are books you enjoy reading and others you enjoy having read.
>> With regular books, read the text and skip the footnotes; with those written by academics read the footnotes and skip the text, and with business books skip both text and footnotes.
>> Double a man's erudition; you will halve his citations.
>> What we call "business books" is an eliminative category invented by bookstores for writings that have no depth, no style, no empirical rigor, and no linguistic sophistication.
>> Some books cannot be summarized (real literature, poetry), some can be compressed to about ten pages; the majority to zero pages.
>> It's much harder to write a book review for a book you've read than for a book you haven't read.
>> Most so-called writers keep writing and writing with the hope to, some day, find something to say.
>> Today, we mostly face the choice between those who write clearly about a subject they don't understand, and those who write poorly about a subject they don't understand.
>> We are better at (involuntarily) doing out of the box than (voluntarily) thinking out of the box.
>> It is much less dangerous to think like a man of action than to act like a man of thought.
◆ THE UNIVERSAL AND THE PARTICULAR
>> Regular minds find similarities in stories (and situations), finer minds detect differences.
>> We unwittingly amplify commonalities with friends, dissimilarities with strangers, and contrasts with enemies.
>> Many are so unoriginal they study history to find mistakes to repeat.
>> The more complex the system, the weaker the notion of Universal.
◆ FOOLED BY RANDOMNESS
>> Unless we manipulate our surroundings, we have as little control over what and whom we think about as we do over the muscles of our hearts.
>> every ten years, collective wisdom degrades by half.
>> The tragedy is that much of what you think is random is in your control and, what's worse, the opposite.
>> What made medicine fool people for so long was that its successes were prominently displayed and its mistakes(literally) buried.
>> The sucker's trap is when you focus on what you know and what others don't know, rather than the reverse.
>> The calamity of the information age is that the toxicity of data increases much faster than its benefits.
>> Mental clarity is the child of courage, not the other way around.
>> Randomness is indistinguishable from complicated, undetected, and undetectable order; but order itself is indistinguishable from artful randomness.
>> We love imperfection, the right kind of imperfection; we pay up for original art and typo-laden 1st editions.
>> Wit seduces by signaling intelligence without nerdiness.
>> In classical renderings of prominent figures, males are lean and females are plump; in modern photographs, the opposite.
>> If you want to annoy a poet, explain his poetry.
>> We are most motivated to help those who need us the least.
>> To value a person, consider the difference between how impressive he or she was at the first encounter and the most recent one.
>> Meditation is a way to be narcissistic without hurting anyone.
>> We find it to be in extremely bad taste for individuals to boast of their accomplishments; but when countries do so we call it "national pride."
>> You can only convince people who think they can benefit from being convinced.
>> Even the cheapest misers can be generous with advice.
>> You may outlive your strength, never your wisdom.
>> Weak men act to satisfy their needs, stronger men their duties.
>> Avoid calling heroes those who had no other choice
>> I trust everyone except those who tell me they are trustworthy.
>> The difference between magnificence and arrogance is in what one does when nobody is looking.
>> The difference between magnificence and arrogance is in what one does when nobody is looking.
>> The nation-state: apartheid without political incorrectness.
>> Just as dyed hair makes older men less attractive, it is what you do to hide your weaknesses that makes them repugnant.
>> Someone from your social class who becomes poor affects you more than thousands of starving ones outside of it.
◆ ROBUSTNESS AND FRAGILITY
>> When conflicted between two choices, take neither.
>> Nation-states like war; city-tates like commerce; families like stability; and individuals like entertainment.
>> The rationalist imagines an imbecile-free society; the empiricist an imbecile-proof one, or, even better, a rationalist-proof one.
>> For the robust, an error is information; for the fragile, an error is an error.
◆ THE LUDIDCOM FAAI
>> Sports are commoditized and, alas, prostituted randomness.
>> When you beat up someone physically you get exercise and stress relief; when you assault him verbally on the internet you just harm yourself.
>> They agree that chess training only improves chess skills, but disagree that classroom training (almost) only improves classroom skills.
>> Games were created to give nonheroes the illusion of winning. In real life you don't know who really won or who really lost (except too late); but you can tell who is heroic and who is not.
>> They read Plutarch on an E-reader but refuse to drink Chateau Lynch Bages in a styrofoam cup.
◆ EPISTEMOLOGY AND SUBTRACTIVE KNOWLEDGE
>> Since Plato, Western thought and the theory of knowledge have focused on the notions of True-False; as commendable as it was, it is high time to shift the concern to Robust-Fragile, and social epistemology to the more serious problem of Sucker-Nonsucker.
>> The perfect sucker understands that pigs can stare at pearls, but doesn't realize he can be in an analog situation.
>> It takes extraordinary wisdom and selfcontrol to accept that many things have a logic we do not understand that is smarter than our own.
>> Knowledge is subtractive, not additive; what we subtract (reduction by what does not work, what not to do), not what we add (what to do).
>> Happiness; we don't know what it means, how to measure it, and how to reach it; but we know extremely well how to avoid unhappiness.
>> The imagination of the genius vastly surpasses his intellect; the intellect of the academic vastly surpasses his imagination.
>> The four most influential moderns: Darwin, Marx, Freud, and (the productive) Einstein were scholars but not academics. It has always been hard to do genuine work within institutions.
◆ THE SCANDAL OF PREDICTION
>> A prophet is not someone with special visions, just someone blind to most of what others see.
>> Anyone voicing a forecast or expressing an opinion without something at risk has some element of phoniness
>> For Seneca, the Stoic sage should withdraw from public efforts when unheeded and the state is corrupt beyond repair. It is wiser to wait for self-destruction.
◆ BEING A PHILOSOPHER AND MANAGING TO REMAIN ONE
>> To become a philosopher, start by walking very slowly.
>> Real mathematicians understand completeness, real philosophers understand incompleteness.
>> ? Most people need to surpass their predecessors; Plato managed to surpass all his successors.
>> To be a philosopher is to know through long walks, by reasoning, and reasoning only, a priori, what others can only potentially learn from their mistakes, crises, accidents, and bankruptcies, that is, a posteriori.
>> Conscious ignorance, if you can practice it, expands your world; it can make things infinite.
>> For the classics, philosophical insight was the product of a life of leisure; for me, a life of leisure is the product of philosophical insight.
>> It takes a lot of intellect and confidence to accept that what makes sense doesn't really make sense.
>> Saying "the mathematics of uncertainty" is like saying "the chastity of sex"—what is mathematized is no longer uncertain, and vice versa.
◆ ECONOMIC VLEIRFY
>> There are designations, like "economist","prostitute", or "consultant" for which additional characterization doesn't add information.
>> A mathematician starts with a problem and creates a solution; a consultant starts by offering a "solution" and creates a problem.
>> W h a t t h e y c a l l " r i s k " I c a l l opportunity; but what they call "low risk" opportunity I call sucker problem.
>> The best test of whether someone is extremely stupid (or extremely wise) is whether financial and political news make sense to him.
>> The left holds that because markets are stupid models should be smart; the right believes that because models are stupid markets should be smart. Alas, it never hit both sides that both markets and models are very stupid.
>> Economics is like a dead star that still seems to produce light; but you know it is dead.
>> Suckers think that you cure greed with money, addiction with substances, expert problems with experts, banking with bankers, economics with economists, and debt crises with debt spending.
>> You can be certain that the head of a corporation has a lot to worry about when he announces publicly that "there is nothing to worry about".
>> The stock market, in brief: participants are calmly waiting in line to be slaughtered while thinking it is for a Broadway show.
>> What makes us fragile is that institutions cannot have the same virtues(honor, truthfulness, courage, loyalty, tenacity) as individuals.
>> The worst damage has been caused by competent people trying to do good; the best improvements have been brought by incompetent ones not trying to do good.
>> "It is much easier to scam people for billions than for just millions".
>> One of the failures of "scientific approximation" in the nonlinear domain comes from the inconvenient fact that the average of expectations is different from the expectation of averages.
>> The curious mind embraces science; the gifted and sensitive, the arts; the practical, business; the leftover becomes an economist.
>> Public companies, like human cells, are programmed for apoptosis, suicide through debt and hidden risks.
◆ THE SAGE, THE WEAK, AND THE MAGNIFICENT
>> How superb to become wise without being boring; how sad to be boring without being wise.
>> The traits I respect are erudition and the courage to stand up when half-men are afraid for their reputation.
>> The mediocre regret their words more than their silence; finer men regret their silence more than their words, the magnificent has nothing to regret.
>> Social science means inventing a certain brand of human we can understand.
>> When expressing "good luck" to a peer, the weak wishes the opposite, the strong is mildly indifferent; but only the magnificent means it.
>> The magnificent believes half of what he hears and twice what he says.
>> A verbal threat is the most authentic certificate of impotence.
>> The classical man's worst fear was inglorious death; the modern man's worst fear is just death.
◆ THE IMPLCIT AND THE EXPLICIT
>> You know you have influence when people start noticing your absence more than the presence of others.
>> Some reticent people use silence to conceal their intelligence; but most do so to hide the lack of it.
>> When someone says "I am not that stupid", it often means that he is more stupid than he thinks.
>> Bad-mouthing is the only genuine, never faked, expression of admiration.
>> For company, you often prefer those who find you interesting over those you find interesting.
>> And you can be certain that a person has neither means nor will to help you when he says "I am here to help".
>> When someone starts a sentence with"simply", you should expect to hear something very complicated.
>> Half the people lie with their lips; the other half with their tears.
◆ ON THE VARIETIES OF LOVE AND NONLOVE
>> At any stage, humans can thirst for money, knowledge, or love; sometimes for two, never for three.
>> Marriage is the institutional process of feminizing men—and feminizing women.
>> Outside of friendship and love, it is very hard to find situations with bilateral, two-way suckers.
>> When a young woman partners with an otherwise uninteresting rich man, she can sincerely believe that she is attracted to some very specific body part (say, his nose, neck, or knee).
>> A good foe is far more loyal, far more predictable, and, to the clever, far more useful than the most valuable admirer.
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