We often cling to the spirit for no other reason than to avoid the rigours of the letter. Fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays? Sounds hard! A lot easier to pretend that the real meaning of fasting is just to think nice thoughts.
Western civilization is already dead. All the problems it now seems to be facing—diversity, the refugee crisis, demographic implosion, etc.—are but the flies and beetles feeding on its corpse.
You can tell if a woman is slutty or not from her attitude towards wasting food.
To simplify without also distorting—this is the province of superior intelligence.
There are people who love mankind, but hate actual flesh-and-blood men. There are people who love Truth, but lie all the time about insignificant things.
The question before every artist and thinker: how do I get my thought into a form that people will pay attention to?
The pessimist believes existence ought to be different. The optimist pretends that it is different.
What is optimism but a kind of gullibility? It is the delusion that the solution to what ails us is just around the corner—always just around the corner. In the economy, it manifests itself as boom and bust. In everyday life, as hope and disappointment. You might well say that hope and disappointment comprise the rhythm of life.
Talent operates within accepted boundaries, so it’s not hard to recognize when it appears. Genius, on the other hand, does its own thing.
Life appears this way or that way—simple or complicated—according to the nature and number of one’s desires.
A certain minimum IQ is a necessary but insufficient condition for genius, but IQ and genius are fundamentally different things. It is similar to how an aeroplane must travel on the ground at a certain minimum speed before it can take off, but ground speed is fundamentally different from the power to take flight. It follows from this that there are, in all likelihood, talented persons with higher IQs than actual geniuses.
The breakdown of social order seems to release a lot of energy, analogous to the splitting of an atom. Take the French Revolution. What was Napoleon but a bit of foam riding waves of expansive energies?
Persuasion depends on engaging someone’s belief at the level it was formed. Opinions based on vanity are not vulnerable to logic. Opinions based on logic aren’t vulnerable to appeals to vanity. Etc.
Most people choose their opinions in the same way they choose their clothes—to maximize social status.
The ancient Greeks and Romans had great fashion sense (plain white togas with maybe one bold stripe). Almost everything else seems effeminate or tacky in comparison.
Sometimes it takes forever just to make the words sound natural and spontaneous.
Obscurity is the safest place.
There is no doubt in my mind that posterity will look back upon this age as one of both incredible gayness and incredible retardation.
People who create art for money are as suspect as people who pray for money.
Laziness is as much the enemy of vice as virtue. How many would-be dictators and troublemakers just never got around to it!
Moral indignation depends on not knowing yourself too deeply.
Self-love is why Chads believe women aren’t superficial. Hope is why betas believe the same.
We measure wealth in terms of money, because money is the means by which we satisfy most of our wants. But it makes as much sense to measure wealth in terms of the fewness of one’s wants, similar to how we score golf in terms of the fewness of one’s strokes. Or better still, as the ratio between one’s wants and one’s means to fulfill them, so that Diogenes is richer in his barrel than many princes in their palaces. Ambition is a type of poverty, namely, inner poverty.
The Forbes’ list might as well be a list of the world’s greatest pussy acquirers, since that’s what money is for anyway.
A heuristic: if you don’t enjoy housework, then you’ve got too many things.
Libertarianism is something like the political equivalent of Newtonian physics: somewhat useful, intuitive maybe, ultimately wrong. The one sees the atom as the basic, irreducible unit out of which everything else is composed; the other sees the individual as the same.
Neither pure individualism nor pure collectivism is correct; this is one of those rare cases where the truth is actually somewhere in the middle.
Individualism is the spiritual analogue of living in a room without doors and without windows. No light can come in, no fresh air, just darkness—forever.
It’s unpleasant to read your old writing in the same way that it’s unpleasant to hear a recording of your own voice.
The freedom to be weak is no freedom.
Some people, just by being around them, bring out the best in you. Some bring out the very worst. Most don’t change you at all.
Genius creates the style that will be popular long after he’s dead.
It’s better to do the wrong thing the right way than the right thing the wrong way.
Good things sometimes happen to bad people, just as rain sometimes falls on the desert.
An unbiased opinion: one you happen to agree with.
It’s annoying to argue with people who can’t seem to see that all your points are all valid.
The annoying thing about arguing with idiots is that they can’t tell you’re winning; they think they’re doing just fine.
Technological progress can’t save us from human corruption. Quite the contrary. It almost always magnifies it.
Words are ideas, usually fuzzy ones.
Capitalism increases the number of possible enjoyments while blunting one’s capacity to enjoy.
It’s possible for your writing to be so “precise” and “nuanced” that you fail to say anything of substance at all.
Sexual liberation means liberation for 10% of guys to bang virtually every chick out there. We’ve had revolutions on the basis of economic inequality before. Perhaps soon we’ll have the first revolution ever on the basis of sexual inequality, which is actually the most profound type of inequality.
The classic is never popular except sub specie aeternitatis.