All too often, our elegant political theories amount to nothing more than ideology triumphing over common sense.
We live in an age of equivocal competency: if you want, you can be a competent dictator, a competent self-promoter, a competent terrorist. Just because you can do something well does not mean you should be doing it.
Why do the powerful always insist on having a “back story” to justify whatever they do? Why can’t they—just once—do something for the simple reason that it is the right thing to do, in itself, for reasons understood and accepted by all? In politics, laws are passed to secretly serve hidden agendas, for without such agendas many lawmakers would never find the motivation to support anything at all.
We recognize authority based on whether we feel we could attain authority by the rules by which the authority was obtained.
If you want to impress someone, simply make up a vocation and preface it with the words “molecular” or “theoretical” (as in “molecular biologist” or “theoretical physicist”). After you do this no one will question the veracity of anything you say—whether it is related to your putative vocation or not.
Just because you say you will do something does not mean that you are also willing to do that thing. Ensuring that both things are true is especially important in the matter of either making or receiving a proposal of marriage.
Amazing how too much passion in one part of your life can destroy passion in other parts of your life.
If someone tells you that they’re called “blueberries” because they’re berries and they’re blue—believe them.
It is more important to understand the book you are reading than to finish the book you are reading.
Be careful not to think that just because you know what a person is going to say, you know what that person is going to do.Be careful not to think that just because you know what a person is going to do to others, you know what that person is going to do (or not do) to you.
The tyrant’s formula for every genocide since the beginning of time: differentiate, divide, destroy.
My philosophy of life: “Don’t just sit around doing nothing and wasting your time—get off your butt and start doing something and wasting your time.
A few thoughts on crime and punishment:Punishment—either don’t merit it, or learn to embrace it.It is easy to endure punishment, much harder to accept it.Committing a crime is like incurring a debt: you can either pay it off now, or pay it off later—with interest.
In any career, there is a moment when you are no longer need to be pushed up from below, but rather pulled up from above. Know when that moment comes and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Feeling guilty is not a substitute for loving somebody, it only is an indicator that you have failed to love somebody.
Always try to align your loyalties and commitment with the largest scope of the context you find yourself in. For example, if you work for a department in a company, align yourself with the company—not the department; if you are in an army platoon, align yourself with the army.