The Bed of Procrustes

Unfamiliar with the Bed of Procrustes? Check out this wiki link

Aphorisms require us to change our reading habits and approach them in small doses; each one of them is a complete unit, a complete narrative dissociated from others

Here go some of those aphorisms that I liked…

  1. For company, you often prefer those who find you interesting over those you find interesting
  2. The best revenge on a liar is to convince him that you believe what he said
  3. You remember emails you sent that were not answered better than emails that you did not answer
  4. To be completely cured of newspapers, spend a year reading the previous week’s newspapers
  5. You can tell how uninteresting a person is by asking him whom he finds interesting
  6. It is a good practice to always apologize, except when you have done something wrong
  7. Rumors are only valuable when they are denied
  8. Over the long term, you are more likely to fool yourself than others
  9. There are two types of people: those who try to win and those who try to win arguments. They are never the same
  10. I suspect that they put Socrates to death because there is something terribly unattractive, alienating, and nonhuman in thinking with too much clarity
  11. If your anger decreases with time, you did injustice; if it increases, you suffered injustice
  12. Economics cannot digest the idea that the collective (and the aggregate) are disproportionately less predictable than individuals
  13. When we want to do something while unconsciously certain to fail, we seek advice so we can blame someone else for the failure
  14. Hatred is much harder to fake than love. You hear of fake love; never of fake hate
  15. Wisdom in the young is as unattractive as frivolity in the elderly
  16. It is a very recent disease to mistake the unobserved for the nonexistent; but some are plagued with the worse disease of mistaking the unobserved for the unobservable
  17. You can replace lies with truth; but myth is only displaced with a narrative
  18. Someone who says “I am busy” is either declaring incompetence (and lack of control of his life) or trying to get rid of you
  19. For most, success is the harmful passage from the camp of the hating to the camp of the hated
  20. Modernity: we created youth without heroism, age without wisdom, and life without grandeur
  21. People focus on role models; it is more effective to find antimodels—people you don’t want to resemble when you grow up
  22. People usually apologize so they can do it again
  23. The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary
  24. Writing is the art of repeating oneself without anyone noticing
  25. A good maxim allows you to have the last word without even starting a conversation
  26. It is much less dangerous to think like a man of action than to act like a man of thought
  27. We unwittingly amplify commonalities with friends, dissimilarities with strangers, and contrasts with enemies
  28. Corollary to Moore’s Law: every ten years, collective wisdom degrades by half
  29. What made medicine fool people for so long was that its successes were prominently displayed and its mistakes (literally) buried
  30. The sucker’s trap is when you focus on what you know and what others don’t know, rather than the reverse
  31. If you want to annoy a poet, explain his poetry
  32. If you lie to me, keep lying; don’t hurt me by suddenly telling the truth
  33. You may outlive your strength, never your wisdom
  34. They think that intelligence is about noticing things that are relevant (detecting patterns); in a complex world, intelligence consists in ignoring things that are irrelevant (avoiding false patterns)
  35. A mathematician starts with a problem and creates a solution; a consultant starts by offering a “solution” and creates a problem
  36. You know you have influence when people start noticing your absence more than the presence of others
  37. Some reticent people use silence to conceal their intelligence; but most do so to hide the lack of it
  38. When someone starts a sentence with “simply,” you should expect to hear something very complicated

Every failure of what we call “wisdom” can be reduced to a Procrustean bed situation!