Thought Dump

You’re more likely to regret doing things you wanted to do than things you didn’t want to do.

Monarchy, in which the franchise is limited to one person, is the most efficient form of democracy.

If “so, what do you do?” weren’t the most common question asked by strangers, people would choose their careers differently.

Classical liberalism is about utility and consent, not truth. Hence, it is not an antidote to postmodernism; it is, in fact, postmodernism in an early stage of infection.

Intellectual endeavors and sexual intercourse are the two poles of sensual pleasure. Evidence for this can be found in the fact that indulgence in the one takes away from the other.

The art of editing consists in deleting words until nothing is left but ideas. When you get good at it, you can delete entire essays this way.

Most people are civil to each other in person. Few when driving. Fewer still on the Internet. On reflection, it’s clear that our moral principles are more or less derived from the feeling of empathy that comes from looking into people’s eyes. The further we get away from the model of face-to-face interaction, the worse the results.  

The relationship between testosterone and how many words it takes you to say something.

Culture requires a healthy amount of leisure. American—super busy—no culture. French and Italian—downright lazy—amazing culture.

The golden age of the Internet was when you needed an IQ of 110 to operate a computer.

Sometimes you think you’re improving a piece of writing when in actuality you’re just adapting it to your current mood.

Words get their power mostly from the person who speaks them in the same way that money derives its value from the authority of the institution that issues it. 

Pointing out hypocrisy is the lowest form of refutation.

The real cost of anything is its maintenance cost. 

Each generation laughs at the prejudices of the previous one while remaining completely oblivious to its own.

You can usefully divide mankind into two groups: those who like visiting museums and those you don’t.

You can tell someone’s IQ isn’t above 115 when his sole contribution to the discussion is saying things like “You can’t generalize like that.” Or, “here’s an anecdote about someone who is an exception to your rule.”

Sometimes bad arguments are persuasive; often good ones aren’t.  

Some people’s only claim to virtue is that they never had the opportunity to do evil.

The weirdest thing about learning a new skill is that it starts off being impossible and then all of a sudden it’s easy. There are few, if any, intermediate steps.

The Greeks were the first monolingual snobs, then the French, and now the torch has passed to us Anglophones.