In philosophy, it is a rare answer that is more useful than the question which prompted it.
Hope is the present stealing happiness from the future. Fear is the future stealing happiness from the present. Regret is the past stealing happiness from both the present and future.
If a lot of people believe something, it’s generally considered true. Governments draw legitimacy from majority consensus rather than the Grace of God. Some atheists sincerely believe life is meaningful because space is really, really big.
Everyone is equally selfish. People who are said to be selfless just have a larger conception of the self.
Toronto is not yet 100% non-white, so it still has some way to go before it achieves perfect diversity.
It is weirdly charming to hear people brag about small achievements; there is an implicit modesty in it.
All weakness tends to corrupt, and absolute weakness corrupts absolutely.
Both the attitude that nothing’s your fault and the contrary attitude that everything’s your fault are based on the same sort of egotism, which sees the self at the centre of everything. The former attitude is common enough, and it’s easy to see the narcissism in it. But the latter attitude is no less narcissistic, which wants you to take “ownership” for literally everything that happens to you, as if you’re the sole cause of events, as if you’re God.
There is nothing more incompatible with the intellectual life than the desire to be respectable. There’s nothing more at odds with the desire to find the truth than the desire to be original.
IQ is just another quantification of something that is essentially a quality.
People who inherit wealth are more likely to know how to use it than those who earned it.
It’s hard to do much evil without first considering yourself to be a good person.
An angry woman is repulsive, but a sad one is very attractive.
Everybody wants to be virtuous, ain’t nobody want to be humble.
Just a little bit of stress causes societies to fracture along the lines of race, family, religion, and language, as in prison. This goes some way to showing that these are the real pillars of human identity.
In virtue, there are vast horizons; in vice, everything is cramped and enclosed.
It’s ridiculous to see someone whose ambitions and merit are out of proportion: a brilliant mathematician content do to manual labour, a short person trying to make it to the NBA, someone who is only somewhat gifted trying to become the next big aphorist by starting a website no one goes to.
There are geniuses of the body, mind, and heart. Athletes, philosophers, artists and saints.
Nations with sensitive disgust reflexes—Japan, Germany, etc.—are big on aesthetics.
Time is money. All sales final. No refunds.
It takes more grace to accept praise than to give it.
The working class is practically right about everything and the educated class is practically wrong about everything—so much for IQ.
Aesthetics has a lot to do with placement, that is, what things go where.
One can’t be too skeptical about the goodness of one’s intentions.
We are enthralled to what gives us pleasure. The fewer sources of pleasure we have, the more enthralled we are. If we have only one, then it is a tyrant that completely dominates us: just look at drug addicts. Epicureans recommend having many different sources of pleasure for the same reason financial advisers recommend diversifying one’s investment portfolio.
Words draw their meaning mostly from context, like music notes.
It’s weird how some friendships don’t work at all one-on-one, but positively flourish in the context of the larger group.
Emptiness is the essence of enjoyment. Thirst, hunger, lust, humility.
It’s as common to be better than one’s principles than to fail to live up to them.
Other people’s thoughts are a kind of flint to produce sparks.
True eloquence is when thought and language match so well that you don’t even notice the language.
A sketch is sometimes better than a portrait, and a portrait is often better than a picture. The same principle holds true in writing.
Style is a mould you pour your thoughts into.
People hate the idea of Truth because it implies a standard, a standard that they’re probably not living up to. Truth is a principle set against the ego’s world of subjectivity.
Absolute truth is whatever reality looks like from God’s point of view. Objectivity is God’s subjectivity.
There has been a Tinderfication of the economy. Job security, like monogamy, is a thing of the past. All jobs are now one-off hookups.
It’s easy to imagine that you are strong when you don’t exert yourself, that you are smart when you don’t think too much, etc.
The most readable writers treat writing as a craft, not an art.