Aphorisms and Etc

Misc Selections

Nicholas Teague
Feb 4 · 3 min read

An aphorism is a condensed form of writing in which one can find the theme of a novel, the lesson of an age, or a pithy diversion.

No aphorism is complete without context, but one may feel free to bring their own.


  • The shedding of options is the strongest proof of intention.
  • Cheap signaling only gets cheaper the louder it is broadcast.
  • The filtering and periodic culling of one’s social connections is both a heartless and callous act — and yet completely completely necessary.
  • In the parlance of Twitter, the block button is much much kinder than the mute.
  • Speaking to be understood is so much harder than speaking to be heard.
  • A shared understanding can be one of the strongest bonds between people.
  • For persuasions of mass media, a thousand small pebbles weigh infinitely more than a single giant boulder.
  • That old journalist ethos of neutrality has but one bastion remaining, the sports broadcasters.
  • People can be admired for their accomplishments in one domain even if they’re complete bastards in another.
  • In a power law distribution of media reach driven by network effects, cancel culture may actually be an appropriate means of ensuring some diversity of voice.
  • For the campaign of political theater, speech writers are an obsolete front in a war against sound bites.
  • Voters trust consistency, unfortunately even the consistently untrustworthy.
  • Campaigning against an entire political party instead of against an individual is a sure way to ensure solidarity of the opposition.
  • In order for divide and conquer to work one needs an adequate wedge.
  • People believe what their neighbors tell them.
  • Dramatically breaking the conventions of social norms is a sure way to attract the attention of the young or confused.
  • There are a lot worse things to sell your soul for than a gold coin.
  • Selling your attention is one and the same as selling your soul, even if you’re just giving it away.
  • It is a healthy bias to distrust that which presents to you with twirling whistles and flashing lights.
  • If you want to play a game with the odds in your favor, you have to make the rules.
  • The predictability of inertia is compounded for competitors with increasing mass.
  • Antitrust law precedence insufficiently considers a nation’s global competitiveness. (this one is speculation)
  • It is both a bug and a feature of democracy that international policy may be turned on a dime.
  • Too much stability is bad for stability.
  • If you want to prevent forest fires, you have to light a few.
  • Only you can light a forest fire.
  • Metaphors should never be taken literally. Literally.
  • Dance like no one is watching — unless someone is watching, then just kind of snap your fingers, bite your lip, and like sway a little bit.
  • If Bob Dylan can be a world famous singer, then anyone can.
  • The metronome is the worst thing that ever happened to music.
  • Modern song-writing has nothing to do with composition, it’s more of a land grab competition for copyright.
  • Constraints beget creativity.
  • Abrupt endings are the surest way to leave them wanting more.

Jerry Garcia Band — Spike Driver Blues

Books that were referenced here or otherwise inspired this post:

Geary’s Guide to the World’s Great Aphorists

For further readings please check out my Table of Contents, Book Recommendations, and Music Recommendations. For more on Automunge: automunge.com

From the Diaries of John Henry

Essays and Explorations

Nicholas Teague

Written by

Writing for fun and because it helps me organize my thoughts. I also write software to prepare data for machine learning at automunge.com

From the Diaries of John Henry

Essays and Explorations

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