“I only wanted to suggest to you that self-sacrifice is a passion so overwhelming that beside it even lust and hunger are trifling.”

– W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor’s Edge


“Men are on different levels of spiritual development, and so the imagination of India has evolved the manifestations of the Absolute that are known as Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, and by a hundred other names… The multitudinous gods of India are but expedients to lead to the realization that the self is one with the supreme self.”

– W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor’s Edge


“What he taught was very simple. He taught that we are all greater than we know and that wisdom is the means to freedom. He taught that it is not essential to salvation to retire from the world, but only to renounce the self. He taught that work done with no selfish interest purifies the mind and that duties are opportunities afforded to man to sink his separate self and become one with the universal self.”

– W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor’s Edge


“It’s a mistake to think that those holy men of India lead useless lives. They are a shining light in the darkness. They represent an ideal that is a refreshment to their fellows; the common run may never attain it, but they respect it and it affects their lives for good. When a man becomes pure and perfect the influence of his character spreads so that they who seek truth are naturally drawn to him. It may be that if I lead the life I’ve planned for myself it may affect others; the effect may be no greater than the ripple caused by a stone thrown in a pond, but one ripple causes another, and that one a third; it’s just possible that a few people will see that my way of life offers happiness and peace, and that they in their turn will teach what they have learnt to others.”

– W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor’s Edge


We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way… It is this spiritual freedom—which cannot be taken away—that makes life meaningful and purposeful.

– Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning


Humor was another of the soul’s weapons in the fight for self-preservation. It is well known that humor, more than anything else in the human make-up, can afford an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds.

– Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning


We practice [meditation] not to attain Buddhahood but to express it.

– Shuryu Suzuki, Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind


Money… is like gas in your car. You need to pay attention so you don’t end up on the side of the road. But your trip is not a tour of gas stations.

– Tim O’Reilly


“Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

— George S. Patton


This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, reexamine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.

Whalt Whitman, Leaves of Grass


We can’t have large societies that “feel right”.

John Nerst


And so my advice to all young people who wish to become poets is: do something easy, like learning how to blow up the world — unless you’re not only willing, but glad, to feel and work and fight till you die.

ee cummings


If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.

William Blake


But by all means bear this in mind, that within a very short time both thou and he will be dead; and soon not even your names will be left behind.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations


If you found yourself in the void with your brothers before the monstrous body of a dead god, what kind of world would you build from his corpse?

– Jack Donovan, Becoming a Barbarian


Leaves, some the wind scatters on the ground—so is the race of men.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations


Every new concept gives rise to a new symbolism.

– Mathematics: Its Contents, Methods, and Meaning.


The advantage of the koan method is perhaps, that for general purposes, the other way is too subtle and too easily subject to misinterpretation–especially by monks who might all too readily use it as an excuse for loafing around the monastery while living off the donations of the devout laity. The his almost certainly why the emphasis of the T’ang masters on “not-seeking” gave way to the more energetic use of the koan as a means of exhausting the strength of the egoistic will. Bankei’s Zen without method or means offers no basis for a school or institution, since the monks may just as well go their way and take up farming or fishing. As a result no external sign of Zen is left; there is no longer any finger pointing at the moon or Truth–and this is necessary for the Bodhisattva’s task of delivering all beings, even thought it runs the risk of mistaking the finger for the moon.

Allan Watts, The Way of Zen


Awakening almost necessarily involves a sense of relief because it brings to an end the habitual psychological cramp of trying to grasp the mind with the mind, which in turn generates the ego with all its conflicts and defenses. In time, the sense of relief wears off–but not the awakening, unless one has confused it with the sense of relief and has attempted to exploit it by indulging in ecstasy. Awakening is thus only incidentally pleasant or ecstatic, only at first an experience of intense emotional release. But in itself it is just the ending of an artificial and absurd use of the mind… One method of muscular relaxation is to begin by increasing tension in the muscles so as to have a clear feeling of what not to do. In this sense there is some point in using the initial koan as a means of intensifying the mind’s absurd effort to grasp itself. But to identify satori with the consequent feeling of relief, with the sense of relaxation, is quite misleading, for the satori is the letting go and not the feeling of it. The conscious aspect of the Zen life is not, therefore, satori–not the “original mind”–but everything one is left free to do and to see and feel when the cramp in the mind has been released.

Allan Watts, The Way of Zen


Raise the Stakes: Make sure that your pilot is one of the most important things you’ve ever done. Jack Black might see it, right? So, don’t faround. Don’t have fun. Keep in mind during every stage of production that your goal is to get into the screening so that everyone can

finally see how awesome you are. s is the first and most important rule, because if you can just realize how make-or-break the Channel 101 experience is, the rest of the

steps toward a shitty pilot will come naturally. This philosophy will not only ensure your submission’s suckiness, it will make almost everything you do sucky. Your relationships, your poems, ydriving, your sense of humor: If you just focus less on what you’re doing (ex: telling a joke) and more on why you’re doing it (ex: to be

funny), the suckiness will take over. The Master of Suck lives outside the moment at all times, therefore everything he does is horrible.

The Tao Of Poop


The universe is vast; and our lives our infinite; but we do not know this; and so we suffer.

– Unknown


Nothing could have been more obvious to the people of the earlier twentieth century”, he wrote, “than the rapidity with which war was becoming impossible … [but] they did not see it until the atomic bombs burst in their fumbling hands.

H. G. Wells


Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.

Whalt Whitman


If thought is something we share, then so is reason—what makes us reasoning beings. If so, then the reason that tells us what to do and what not to do is also shared. And if so, we share a common law. And thus, are fellow citizens. And fellow citizens of something. And in that case, our state must be the world. What other entity could all of humanity belong to?

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations IV:4, translation by Gregory Hays


The fact that the texture of one’s experience has information processing properties (aka qualia computing) is itself more evident during states of confusion. For example, when you are confused about the meaning of something, this will have implications for the way you experience language and encode gestalts of experience (ex: “This synesthetic sensation here is usually paired up with meaning, but what is the meaning of it now? Without experiencing the meaning I usually ascribe to the sensation, I can’t compare it to other sensations I’ve had before.”)

36 Textures of Confusion


Only the educated are free.

Epictetus


The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is, there’s no ground.

Chogyam Trungpa


Concept creep runs the risk of pathologizing everyday experience and encouraging a sense of virtuous but impotent victimhood.

Concept Creep: Psychology’s Expanding Concepts of Harm and Pathology


It is not necessarily at home that we best encounter our true selves. The furniture insists that we cannot change because it does not; the domestic setting keeps us tethered to the person we are in ordinary life, who may not be who we essentially are.

Alain de Botton


The question of whether machines can think is about as relevant as the question of whether submarines can swim.

Edsger W. Dijkstra


There is no excuse for anyone who is not illiterate if he is less than three thousand years old in mind.

Why Don’t We Learn from History?



Life’s finest day for wretched; mortals here; Is always first to flee

Virgil


There’s no need to fear or hope, but only to look for new weapons.

Giles Deleuze


You can’t wish away Design Process. It has been in existence since the dawn of civilization. And the latest clever development tools, no matter how clever, cannot replace the best practices and real-life collaboration that built cathedrals, railroads, and feature-length films.

The Case for Slow Programming


Cinema is a very difficult and serious art… you should belong to it, it shouldn’t belong to you. Cinema uses your life, not vice versa.

Andrei Tarkovsky


For the price Newton had to pay for being a supreme intellect was that he was incapable of friendship, love, fatherhood, and many other desirable things. As a man he was a failure; as a monster he was superb.

Aldous Huxley


Ah! vainest of all things Is the gratitude of kings; The plaudits of the crowd Are but the clatter of feet.

Longfellow


Any organization that designs a system (defined broadly) will produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization’s communication structure.

Melvin Conway


Tit-for-tat is an efficient catalyst of cooperation in a society where nearly everybody is a defector, but once cooperation is established win-stay, lose-shift is better able to maintain it.

– Mark A. Novak, Five rules for the evolution of coooperation


By describing what consciousness is capable of in rigorous mathematical ways, you can reverse-engineer the reasons why natural selection recruited it as the medium for representing world-simulations.

– Andres Gomez Emilsson, What does comparatively matter in 2015?, Qualia Computin


Willingly give thyself up to Clotho, one of the Fates, allowing her to spin thy thread into whatever things she pleases.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations


If thou art pained by any external thing, it is not this thing that disturbs thee, but thy own judgement about it. And it is in thy power to wipe out this judgement now. But if anything in thy own disposition gives thee pain, who hinders thee from correcting thy opinion?

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations


Metaphors of struggle may just make the phantom dramas of the mind more solid, thus perpetuating the struggle, since even high spiritual warfare is one of the ego’s self-aggrandizing dreams.

Stephen Mitchell, Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation


I look to see if someone has a marine strategy, for taking the beach; an army strategy, for taking the country; and a police strategy, for governing the country afterward.

Reid Hoffman


Musicians don’t retire; they stop when there’s no more music in them.

Louis Armstrong


The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses, long before I dance under those lights.

Muhammad Ali


The real problem of humanity is the following: we have paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions, and god-like technology

E. O. Wilson


It is best to avoid the beginnings of evil.

– Henry David Thoreau, Walden


[Those who] drink to the bottom of the cup must expect to meet some of the dregs.

Benjamin Franklin


There have been two big takeaways that changed how I work. The first is to look deeply into the stack of implicit assumptions I’m working with. It’s often the unspoken assumptions that are the most important ones. The second flows from the first and it’s to focus less on building the right thing and more how we’re going to meet our immediate needs.

CTO to CTO: Werner Vogels and Don Neufeld


To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to the violence of our times.

Thomas Merton


A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


All things happen in accordance with strife and necessity.

Heraclitus


Will you please tell me whether I am a complete idiot or not? If I am a complete idiot, I shall become an aeronaut; but, if not, I shall become a philosopher.

Wittgenstein


I must create a system or be enslaved by another mans.

William Blake


There are no rules anywhere. The Goddess Prevails.

– Malaclypse the Younger, Principia Discordia


Every successful system accumulates parasites.

Thomas Ray


Take the concept of memory. We imagine memory somewhat like a container which can hold mental stuff… such a container does not really exist, but it is a useful way to visualize an aspect of our behavior. In a sense, our entire mental vocabulary is figurative or metaphorical. Even the way in which we imagine time is metaphorical: a spatial extendedness. We place events on a timeline, on which left and right are analogue to before and after. Thus, a coherent story about the ‘self’ can be told, that wonderful fiction. No easy accomplishment! It must have been a long road for humandkind to invent it.

– Erik Weijers, reviewing “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind”


The problem here is that knowledge exists only in living human minds, and the literacy codes we use for storage are cues that need to go through a complex transformation before they can be brought to life again in another mind. Many educationalists, and even more non-educationalists, confuse the codes with knowledge.

– Kieran Egan, Why education is so difficult and contentious


The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts.

Charles Darwin


There has always been a lot of talk about what to do when failure is unacceptable and yet failure is inevitable. Heretofore, almost anything that has come to be seen as essential to the public gets some sort of performance standard imposed upon it, electricity and water, say. But let’s talk about software.

– Dan Geer, Cybersecurity as Realpolitik


The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations


You have to pull back and let the system destroy itself, and then come back. That’s Seneca’s recommendation. He’s the one who says that the sage should let the republic destroy itself.

– Nassim Taleb, Rules for my Life


I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer.

Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, section 276


I start early, and I stay late, day after day, year after year. It took me 17 years and 114 days to become an overnight success.

Lionel Messi


Simon emphasized the usefulness of the land tax, reflecting the early influence of Henry George on his economic thought.

Herbert A. Simon


Intuition is nothing more and nothing less than recognition.

Herbert A. Simon


I’m trying to build a jigsaw puzzle. I wish I could show you what it will be, but the picture isn’t on the box.

Brett Victor


A new breed of philosophers is coming up: I venture to baptize them with a name that is not free of danger. From what I can guess about them, from what they allow to be guessed (since it is typical of them to want to remain riddles in some respect), these philosophers of the future might require in justice, perhaps also in injustice, to be described as ‘Those who attempt’. The name itself is in the end a mere attempt and, if you will, a ‘Temptation’.

– Friedrich Nietzsche, The Free Spirit


The proper judge of the expert is not another expert, but the user : the warrior and not the blacksmith for the sword.

– Cornelius Castoriadis


The primary thing when you take a sword in your hands is your intention to cut the enemy, whatever the means. Whenever you parry, hit, spring, strike or touch the enemy’s sword, you must cut the enemy in the same movement. It is essential to attain this. If you think only of hitting, springing, striking or touching the enemy, you will not be able to cut him. More than anything, you must be thinking of carrying your movement through…

Miyamoto Musashi


That rewards can’t get us what we want is a heretical idea, but it emerges ineluctably from a critical analysis of motivation and work. What distinguishes behaviorists… is not a predilection for using rewards so much as a tendency to focus on behavior… The more reasonable view, I would argue, is that our behavior is just the outward manifestation of who we are: our thoughts and feelings, expectations and memories.

– Alfie Kohn, Challenging Behaviorist Dogma: Myths About Money and Motivation


Thus, they conclude that, with state interference eliminated, it will be possible to achieve “socialist ends by market means.”

Left-libertarianism


Britain, Christianity, Islam, karate, Wednesdays are all just ideas that we choose to believe in and very nice ideas they are, too, when they serve a purpose. These concepts, though, cannot be served to the detriment of actual reality.

Russell Brand


Don’t follow in the footsteps of the ancient masters; seek what they sought.

– Matsuo Bashō


Technology and culture have robbed children of something they deeply need, and then, in the form of video games, sold it back to them.

Charles Eisenstein


Anything linear in harm is already gone, and what is left are things that are nonlinear.

– Nassim Taleb, Longplayer Letters


What bothers me is not that the kids are kept in prisons, but that (a) they aren’t told about it, and (b) the prisons are run mostly by the inmates. Kids are sent off to spend 6 years memorizing meaningless facts in a world ruled by a caste of giants who run after an oblong brown ball, as if this were the most natural thing in the world. And if they balk at this surreal cocktail, they’re called misfits.

Paul Graham


A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.

George R.R. Martin


The most useful general advice is to be specific.

Peter Thiel


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

– Jiddu Krishnamurti


should not pursue goals that are easily achieved. One must develop an instinct for what one can just barely achieve through one’s greatest

efforts. — Albert Einstein


We evolve at the rate of the community we are plugged into.

– Gayle Karen Young


Nothing will bring promotion—and better still, usefulness and happiness—than culture giving you general knowledge beyond the depths of those with whom you may have to deal.

– Andrew Carnegie


The secret of happiness is this: let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.

– Bertrand Russell


We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.

– Albert Einstein


You can probably take it as a rule of thumb from now on that if people don’t think you’re weird, you’re living badly.

Paul Graham


No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

– Eleanor Roosevelt


Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.

– Thomas Huxley


If you find a way to be okay with sucking for a short time, you’ll have a whole lifetime to enjoy not sucking at that thing.

David Kadavy


In retrospect I realize that in almost everything that we worked on together, we were both amateurs. In digital physics, neural networks, even parallel computing, we never really knew what we were doing. But the things that we studied were so new that no one else knew exactly what they were doing either. It was amateurs who made the progress.

– Danny Hillis, Richard Feynman and the Connection Machine


The way to get unstuck is to start down the wrong path, right now.

Seth Godin


I think the hardest part of kicking a habit is wanting to kick it.

– Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy


Slow down and remember this: Most things make no difference. Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action. Being overwhelmed is often as unproductive as doing nothing, and is far more unpleasant. Being selective-doing less-is the path of the productive. Focus on the important few and ignore the rest.

– Tim Ferris


The naïve view of public goods is often at odds with reality… In modern society, better jobs and relationships are often the reward for the production of positive externalities. As it turns out, people like to work and socialize with those who create value for others… Can you name a single person who ended up poor and unhappy because they devoted too many resources to the voluntary production of public goods of actual value to the rest of society? […] Don’t worry about being compensated for it right away. If you succeed in producing things that are of value to others, they will want you around, and you will have plenty of rewarding opportunities you would not have had otherwise.

Eli Dourado, Why I Should Blog More


The multitude of books serves only to show how many false paths there are, and how widely astray a man may wander if he follows any of them. But he who is guided by his genius, he who thinks for himself, who thinks spontaneously and exactly, possesses the only compass by which he can steer aright.

– Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Literature


No, you can’t force other people to change. You can, however, change just about everything else. And usually, that’s enough.

Aaron Swartz


The ships that brought us here are to be left scuttled and burning at the shore.

– E. O. Wilson


The man who is unable to live in society or has no need because he is sufficient for himself must be either beast or god.

– Aristotle


The only serious question is whether there is anything to take seriously.

– Mitchell Heisman


Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.

– Frank Herbert