And for the wise to use as a guide.
Perfect is the enemy of good-popularized by Voltaire
Good enough is not good enough, it’s great
“Much Madness is divinest Sense –
To a discerning Eye –
Much Sense – the starkest Madness –
’Tis the Majority
In this, as all, prevail –
Assent – and you are sane –
Demur – you’re straightway dangerous –
And handled with a Chain”
“A single word can brighten the face
of one who knows the value of words.
Ripened in silence, a single word
acquires a great energy for work.”-Junus Emre
“Lies, damn lies, and statistics”-attributed to many, popularized in the USA by Mark Twain
Statistics don’t lie, statisticians do
Don’t believe everything you think
A skeptic can only claim to be right in pointing out uncertainties. Otherwise he is not a skeptic, he is a hypocrite
“The Greeks seek understanding, the Jews are waiting for a sign.” Modern medicine has reversed Potter Stuart’s paradigm, “I can’t define it but I know it when I see it,” to “If we can’t define it we will discount it or ignore it as if it did not exist.” Do anecdotes contain signs? Perhaps in all complex problems with myriad variables, religion or science, it would be best to pay attention to signs, non-explicit systems and information, and anecdotes.
“Reduce the target…” Less is more
Modular thinking Lateral thinking PO-Edward DeBono
Thinking in parallels, speaking in parables
“We have met the enemy and he is us!”-Pogo
Guilty by association analogous to confusing coincidence with causality
Logic Fallacies: The Gambler’s Fallacy, Ad Hominen, No True Scotsman, Straw Man
Living each in their own bubble
To know the means look to the extremes
FWIW If the shoe fits, wear it
Qui se sent morveux, qu’il se mouche
Si le chapeau te fait, mets-le
You can’t argue with success (nor explain it?)
Don’t try to teach your grandmother how to suck eggs (gratuitous advice)
The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.
Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies
Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.
I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.-Groucho Marx
The lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client
The doctor who treats himself has an idiot for a patient
The writer who edits his own work…
“Only an idiot would swallow soup so hot it burns his mouth.” Ben Franklin said at a court dinner in France after spitting the spoonful of soup out on the table. Don’t conform to conventions contrary to your own common sense.
PRO-VERBS (In the fundamental meaning, what should precede any important action):
Go-to list of quotes, quips, analogies, memes, aphorisms, metaphors, similes, paradigms, parables, parallels, epithets, formulas, algorithms, heuristics, routines, idioms, equations
1 Our anger and annoyance is more harmful to us than those things which anger and annoy us
2 To refrain from imitation is the best revenge
3 How ridiculous and strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life!
4 Like a surgeon with his instruments and knives ready for cases which suddenly need their skill, so do you have principles ready for the understanding of things divine and human…
5 Make for yourself a definition or description of every object presented to you, so as to see clearly what it is in its own naked substance, complete and entire, and tell yourself its proper name, and the names of the things of which it is compounded and into which it will be dissolved
6 We sin by omission as well as by commission-Marcus Aurelius
So too can we profit by both
7. To change your mind and defer to correction is not to sacrifice your independence; for such an act is your own, in pursuance of your own impulse, your own judgement, and your own thinking.
Few worries are solved by worrying, most are made worse
Discretion is the better part of valor-Falstaff/Shakespeare
Is it “actionable” information?
Human intelligence is greatly overrated
Jack of all trades, master of none
“What can be contained in words is without value.” Zhou Zuoren
“I can’t define it but I know it when I see it.” Potter Stewart ( = easier done than said)
“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — ‘Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.’ — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”-Emerson
BUDDHA “Those who cling to perceptions and views wander the world offending people.” (And in turn being offended!)
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” The Buddha
“Should you find a wise critic to point out your faults, follow him as you would a guide to hidden treasure.” The Buddha
Asked if he was the Living Buddha, Dalai Lama replied, “I think I am like the reflection of the moon on water.”
POPE FRANCIS Stop being negative. “Needing to talk badly about others indicates low self-esteem. That means, ‘I feel so low that instead of picking myself up I have to cut others down,’” the Pope said. “Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy.”
CICERO “The authority of those who teach is often an obstacle to those who want to learn.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero (Authority implemented in method and substance through formalities, discipline, conventions and conformity)
“Six mistakes mankind keeps making century after century:
Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others;
Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected;
Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it;
Refusing to set aside trivial preferences;
Neglecting development and refinement of the mind;
Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero
“The smart love to learn and the fool to teach” -Chekov
Two things are infinite, the Universe and Human stupidity. But we now believe the former to be in doubt.-Einstein
A smart man solves the problem, a wise man avoids it.-Einstein
“He talked about it so much he began to understand it himself.”-Said of Albert Einstein by a fellow Nobel Prize winner
Those who can do, those who can’t teach
ISAK DINESEN There are three forms of perfect happiness:
To feel within yourself an excess of strength
To know you are fulfilling your destiny
The remission of pain
Caveat: Pride goes before a fall
In the filthy menagerie of our vices,
There is one more ugly, more wicked, more filthy!
Although he makes neither great gestures nor great cries,
He would willingly make of the earth a shambles
And, in a yawn, swallow the world;
He is Ennui!
Hypocrite lecteur, mon semblable, mon frere
Whited sepulchers, clean on the outside and full of corruption within.
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Man proposes, God disposes
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not
Why do you kick against the pricks?
The man who rises early and praises the Lord in a loud voice, by his neighbor it will be considered a curse.
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Familiarity breeds contempt
A prophet is not without honor except in his own family
SHAKESPEARE “In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities:
For nought so vile that on the earth doth live
But to the earth some special good doth give,
Nor aught so good but strain’d from that fair use
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse:
Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied;
And vice sometimes by action dignified.”
ANNE MACVICAR GRANT “I, who for my part detest every mode
of selfish luxury, could not endure to see a native
highlander make his good humour dependent on
a good breakfast, and was moreover disgusted by
certain learned strictures* on new-laid eggs, which
I am sure made no part of his college acquisitions.
* Among the peculiarities of highland manners is an
avowed contempt for the luxuries of the table. A high-
land hunter will eat with a keen appetite and sufficient
discrimination. But were he to stop in any pursuit, be-
cause it was meal time, to growl over a bad dinner, or
visibly exult over a good one, the manly dignity of his
character would be considered as fallen for ever.”
ROBERT MCNAMARA Proportionality (The Fog of War)
Maritime-Inspired but wider application:
Constant bearing means collision
One hand for the ship, one hand for yourself
“Yes! Very funny this terrible thing is. A man that is born falls into a dream like a man who falls into the sea. If he tries to climb out into the air as inexperienced people endeavour to do, he drowns—nicht wahr? . . . No! I tell you! The way is to the destructive element submit yourself, and with the exertions of your hands and feet in the water make the deep, deep sea keep you up. So if you ask me—how to be?” Swim in the element that surrounds you. Conrad, Lord Jim
It is reassuring or in the worst cases consoling to believe that doctors, veterinarians and other established authorities or systems have all the right answers and always have the right answers.
Wellesley, Duke of Wellington “If you believe that you will believe anything.”
Only a great defeat can be half as melancholy as a great victory
Abraham drew near, and said, “Will you consume the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous within the city? Will you consume and not spare the place for the fifty righteous who are in it? … What if ten are found there?” He [The Lord] said, “I will not destroy it for the ten’s sake.”
“It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer”, as expressed by the English jurist William Blackstone.
Bismarck is believed to have stated that “it is better that ten innocent men suffer than one guilty man escape.”
Benjamin Franklin stated it as, “it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer”
Defending British soldiers charged with murder for their role in the Boston Massacre, John Adams also expanded upon the rationale behind Blackstone’s Formulation when he stated:
It is more important that innocence should be protected, than it is that guilt be punished; for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world, that all of them cannot be punished. … when innocence itself, is brought to the bar and condemned, especially to die, the subject will exclaim, ‘it is immaterial to me whether I behave well or ill, for virtue itself is no security.’ And if such a sentiment as this were to take hold in the mind of the subject that would be the end of all security whatsoever.
Taptuk Emre in the TV series Yunus Emre says, Justice is not seeking crime and culprit, Justice is seeking innocent and innocence to the end.
L’appetit vient en mangeant
Richard Nixon to Henry Kissinger: “Tell Pappa-what’s-his-name to let Pappa-what’s-his-other-name out of jail.”
“Doc” Roland Lombard said he could learn something useful from anyone. Leaves open whether and when he would learn what to do or what not to do, but in either case I doubt he learned anything from people who think their opinions are more valuable than their stories.
Barbara McClintock >Over the years I have found that it is difficult if not impossible to bring to consciousness of another person the nature of his tacit assumptions when, by some special experiences, I have been made aware of them. This became painfully evident to me in my attempts during the 1950s to convince geneticists that the action of genes had to be and was controlled. It is now equally painful to recognize the fixity of assumptions that many persons hold on the nature of … One must await the right time for conceptual change.
>She wrote this in 1973 in reference to her decision 20 years earlier to stop publishing detailed accounts of her work.
In 1983 she received the Noble Prize in Physiology/Medicine for that previously ignored, denied, and disbelieved research.
In any problem or research based on a large number of variables, inevitably some identified and many not identified, Science can’t avoid bias and true scientists don’t claim to be unbiased. As with conflict of interest the first criteria is disclosure so that a later determination can be made if it’s disqualifying by particular standards or not.
While Donald Rumsfeld’s list of permutations of known and unknown was probably to BS the Press and the Public, it remains a tautology, true by definition. What are unknown knowns? What you think you know that is false? Or what you don’t know that you should know? Or would the later be known unknowns?
The fact is that the level of unknown and potentially misleading variables and assumptions, the uncertainties in any human and in even in lab animal population study is staggering. Add to that proxies! For example, the blood level of Vitamin D is not the actual performance you want to determine and calculate inverse probabilities/causes. Those performance dependent variables would be health effects, survival, presence or absence of diseases… blood levels do not correlate perfectly or 100% predictably with all health parameters. There’s many a slip twixt the cup and the lip.
Medical research has substituted claims of scientific objectivity for ignorance and the lack of adequate controls of potential confounding variables. Most other scientists, dare I say correct science, calls their thinking theories, models, hypotheses.
A broken clock is correct twice a day.
On a true or false test question if 50% got it right that is the same result as if no one knew the correct answer.
The Devil can quote Scripture
Standing outside the shrine the Holy Man recognizes Satan with many horses’ reins draped over his arm up to the elbow. The Holy Man asks Satan, are you waiting the horses’ return? Satan agrees. The Holy Man then asks, am I one of them? Satan smiles, “I do not need reins to ride you.”