Quite nice

[T]oday, let’s seek to be better than the things that disappoint or hurt us. Let’s try to be the example we’d like others to follow. It’s awful to be a cheat, to be selfish, to feel the need to inflict pain on our fellow human beings. Meanwhile, living morally and well is quite nice.

~ Ryan Holiday


Endless anxieties

When circumstances scare us, our imagination tends to take over, filling our minds with endless anxieties. You need to gain control of your imagination. A Focused mind has no room for anxiety or for the effects of an overactive imagination.

~ Robert Greene



Many statements which are accepted as truth because they have been passed down to us by tradition look like truth only because we have never tested them, never thought about them in a more precise way.

~ Leo Tolstoy


Two guides

Two ways exist to guide human activity. One is to force a person to act against his wishes; The other is to guide a person’s wishes, to persuade him with reasoning. One is the way of violence: It is used by ignorant people, and it leads to complete disappointment. The other is supported by experience, and is always successful.

~ Abraham Comb


Wise consumption

Wise consumption is much more complicated than wise production. What five people will produce, one person can very easily consume, and the question for each individual and for every nation is not how are we to produce, but how our products are to be consumed.

~ John Ruskin


Reasons and persons

You’ve probably heard this scenario before. It originally comes from Derek Parfit’s 1984 book Reasons and Persons, where he actually answers the question. (Though you may not like the answer.) To answer it, he has to go though a set of even weirder scenarios. Here’s most of them, edited aggressively.

~ “Dynomight” from, https://dynomight.net/no-self/

This article turns a number of complicated thought experiments into a disorienting dash through a hall of mirrors. I’ve not read Parfit’s book, but I’ve encountered these sorts of thought experiments before. On one hand I’m drawn to thinking about them because I feel I should be able to have some foundational, (although not necessarily simple,) principles that I can use to answer them. Which is a working definition of, “I want to be rational.” Until I start really digging into the experiments and things get really complicated. Why, it’s as if being a limited-in-resources mind forced to interact with in an intractably complex world, may not be something with a clear, correct, let alone singular, solution.