Aphorisms

Aphorisms
  1. The one basic struggle of humanity: between rationality and irrationality.

  2. Voltaire: I am still a fan of his electrifying atmosphere.

  3. Always seeing “historical parallels” indicates you don’t understand the nature of reality.

  4. “Fucked at birth” is the reality for millions and millions, and if we don’t change that reality, we are going to be “Fucked in the end.”

  5. Evolution: the perfect mix of physical laws and historical accidents.

  6. Studying economics: the road to permanent brain damage.

  7. Best Brief Boris Johnson Branding: career psychopath (hat tip to John Crace).

  8. I always thought the loss of adequate learning opportunities for the gifted without money was the greatest harm to the way the UK organizes education. However, sometimes I wonder whether giving a boost to self-confidence and the sheen of private education to the inherently dull and totally unimaginative, such as Nigel Farage, is actually not the more disastrous consequence.

  9. As I cycle over bicycle paths set in meadows, I often notice other cyclists being annoyed when they have to slow down for sheep. You cycle through their living room, and you get annoyed?

  10. “Inalienable rights”: why should one organism amongst legions have such rights? However, every human being has just as many “rights” as every other.

  11. Accepting that all the most important things in life are deeply affected by “the role of the dice” might be rather difficult at first but turns out to be rather liberating later.

  12. It has to be said: discussions hardly ever change minds. Our positions on important matters are fixed by the environment we grow up in. Intelligence only seems to have the auxiliary function of making ever more complex arguments for maintaining the position originally taken. “What sheer unadulterated luck to have grown up with people that were actually right,” he stated unironically.

  13. I am a “western consumer”; we have been conditioned to want as much as possible, as cheaply as possible. Can’t we see that we are thus responsible for climate change, mass extinction, exploitation of people and resources, and have been so for centuries?

  14. The US: slave state for over two centuries and then apartheid for another. Is that not one of the most important things to know?

  15. Stupidity kills, murders, mutilates, maims, devastates, damages, despoils, and injures. But “unintelligent” and “stupid” are not the same thing.

  16. Why do “these people” not do the right thing in society? But what if society and its institutions never worked for them?

  17. In a certain sense, the life of the “overbrained ape” feels unliveable. Just “be,” and the result is unbelievable.

  18. The philosopher’s dilemma: be down to earth and right, and you will remain unknown as you are stating the obvious, but take things to their extremes, and you will gain the adulation of fanatics and, being wrong, the opprobrium of those having common sense.

  19. 18-12-2020: America’s future looks bleak because it does not seem able to loosen the republican/plutocratic stranglehold on its institutions, levers of power, and, yes, its very imagination. Unbelievably, these people are incumbents: Georgia senators Loeffler and Perdue are obscenely wealthy and heedlessly using the stock market to make even more money while in office. They are also on the record as incredibly despicable.

  20. Harold Evans is an inspiring example of the rare kind of journalist that allows us to still talk about the value of the “fourth estate.”

  21. Cults: from brain worrying via brainwashing to brain wasting.

  22. Surprising that this still has to be said, but for the record: Freud was a rather good writer, a bad doctor, and a terrible scientist. Psychoanalysis is the religion of a somewhat silly cult.

  23. Religious texts contain so many exhortations that statistically, some must be worthwhile (though they have rather low batting averages). But still (from the Talmud): “We are not expected to complete the task, but neither are we free to desist.”

  24. Philosopher: pretentious hardly intelligent o, so phony, howling error receptacle?

  25. As we cannot seem to face certain stark realities inherent to the human condition, our self-delusions can make us our own worst enemies.

  26. “Free speech” is an important basic principle to start with, but not an end in itself or an end to the problem of how to implement it.

  27. The new (?) politician: disavowing responsibility for what goes wrong on their watch while claiming credit for successes they have nothing to do with.

  28. The vicar who tells me I am not welcome to tell his congregation that religion is a rather silly way of looking at the vastness of the universe is NOT applying censorship.

  29. Finally, something that can really be stated without any qualifications and with absolute certainty: Brexit is a disaster, and the Brexiteers are, and always were, either dumb, immoral, or both.

  30. Bob Dylan (freewheeling or freeloading?) versus Neil Young (“Ain’t singing for Pepsi, ain’t singing for Coke”); what a relief I consider Young a better artist…

  31. Humanity drives one crazy because it seems anyone, really anyone, can drive humanity crazy.

  32. “Brainwashing”; the only kind of washing that makes you filthier…

  33. The statistics regarding policing in the US are indeed “breathtaking” (breathtakingly bad, that is), but confidence is high: Hollywood and TV have a lot to answer for.

  34. Fall 2020, and people are discussing whether prosecuting president T., when he has left office, would be harmful to democracy, destabilizing the country, and coming across as ‘vengeful”. The polar opposite is the case: Not prosecuting would be an egregious mistake, showing that the rich and powerful can be criminal and lawless, while the poor and powerless are subjected to merciless, draconian punishment. Decades of this kind of lawlessness (Nixon should never have been pardoned) has gnawed at the roots of democracy, so people will vote for “anybody but a normal politician,” giving us this president. Only exposing his rampant criminally, followed by legal punishment, will begin to mend democratic confidence.

  35. “Cosmetic politics,” having people that look different do exactly the same thing again and again, will only deepen societal scars. However, the acronym (severe cutaneous adverse reactions) should give us pause.

  36. That the English consider The Spectator a quality journal tells you a lot about the standards of English journalism.

  37. We are hardwired to be the center of our universe. However, the universe has no center, and if it had one, we would certainly not be it.

  38. A.N. Wilson – Catholic “mess-maker.”

  39. One should always be willing to compromise, except for the few cases where one absolutely should not. Politicians, how you identify these will define your legacy.

  40. Power and wealth are inseparable and, thus, extreme inequality and democracy are incompatible.

  41. “L’homme est il bon?” (In honour of Moebius).

  42. Most people I meet are rather decent, while most world leaders are heinous characters. Now I know both are not exactly unbiased samples, but certain character deficiencies seem to ease your way to the top. Could we alter democratic procedures to take that fact into account?

  43. The parables in the bible are drab and uninteresting. However, I have a weak spot for the parable of talents, mostly because it makes me feel bad.

  44. The richest country in the world has a horrific prison swamp at its center (remember, most people swallowed up are victims, not perpetrators).

  45. Xi Jinping is becoming a “worthy” successor of Mao.

  46. Racism is really a very stupid idea, as illustrated by the fact that we are universally racist.

  47. When members of a cult do something atrocious (as they so often do), we invoke “brainwashing,” in that sense, and that sense only; all adherents to religions have an excuse.

  48. I think the track record of Eton alumni in public life on its own should already bring about Eton’s immediate closure.

  49. “Tradition” can never be an argument to retain something obviously wrong, but that is the traditional way of using it.

  50. The whole discussion about the phrase “defund the police”; is there any possible description that people would not misconstrue so that they can get away with not doing what should be done? Or did this slogan indeed make it easy to (instinctively) interpret “defund’ as “abolish”? A naive alternative suggestion: “bring law to order.”

  51. Beyond brilliance, bravura, and bliss: Barbara Hannigan in Benjamin Britten’s Les Illuminations.

  52. What really characterizes America is its completely merciless “justice” for the weak and the absence of justice for the powerful.

  53. Is “Ich will doch nur dass ihr mich liebt” an accurate description of our most fundamental impulses?

  54. In light of the inherent trade-offs in evolution and life, “absolute freedom” becomes a rather stupid concept.

  55. Relegation of Religion, Royalty, and Republicans (the American variety): steps towards a better future with Reason, Righteousness, and Republics (the original variety).

  56. The dynamics of power and principles: that is everything.

  57. Evolution is not teleological; see exhibit number one: “Homo sapiens.”

  58. The tell-tale sign of gifted writers: wanting to convey conflicting emotions and being able to do so.

  59. Bolsonaro’s ecocide: accelerating destruction of the Amazon rainforest.

  60. The vicious reasoning of capitalism: we cannot have a basic income because then people would not work anymore, and we cannot stop doing useless, destructive things because of the loss of jobs associated.

  61. Trying to justify the actions of your group by saying, “but look what the others did” is a dead giveaway of immoral behavior.

  62. A minimum of imagination will make clear that for the super-rich, moral bankruptcy is hard to avoid, and I am, of course, not talking about the large group that became extremely wealthy because of moral bankruptcy, to begin with.

  63. “Tories”: Totally Oriented Regarding Incinerating Equality in Society; aka “barbarian kleptocrats.”

  64. Spin doctors and worldwide webs: a horrifying combination.

  65. Elon Musk versus Robert Reich: “that’s rich” versus “that’s right.”

  66. Symphony number 1: Shostakovich, Walton, Brahms, Prokofiev, Sibelius…

  67. Without individual integrity, communities disintegrate.

  68. Alas, religion teaches you not to trust your sense(s).

  69. Unicorns, morally consistent evangelicals, environmentally friendly SUVs, and moderate Republicans…

  70. “Money laundering”: why are so many people trying to clean up?

  71. When you are young, you have many flashes of insight, and they stick with you. As you grow older, they become rare and fleeting. At least, I think I thought so a moment ago…

  72. Greed is the most corrosive of sins.

  73. What is so difficult to understand about universal rights?

  74. “Conservative”; it all depends on what you find worthy of conservation.

  75. “Liberal”: indicating either the economic freedom to screw over the planet and every living thing on it or the personal freedom to express, think and be. The two have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

  76. After 4 years of a Trump wreck, more than seventy million people voted to repeat the experience: we surely are doomed.

  77. Strange: getting money out of politics is the only road towards a creditable democracy.

  78. If there is one thing I am certain about: the less you know, the more certain you are. Yes, I know…

  79. The Dow-Jones index measures a weighted average of greed and lunacy.

  80. The “gig” (lower cast version) economy is only about unmitigated worker exploitation. GIG (capital version) stands for Getting Ill-begotten Gains. “Independent contractor,” you must be joking.

  81. We often seek validation for our deepest held convictions in the flash of redeeming regret from those whose behavior always went against all we stand for: that way, madness lies.

  82. FRUSTRATION: Far-Right Utterly Shameless Tactics Revolving Around Totally Inactivating Open-minded New-borns. SOLUTION: Sound Outright Left-leaning Upbringing Towards Inherent Overflowing Nobility.

  83. Prosecuting clearly criminal behavior by politicians in power before you is NEVER “partisan,” while not investigating or pardoning will only undermine democracy and the rule of law (Ford should never have pardoned Nixon).

  84. Free enterprise is not a cost-free enterprise.

  85. In the final analysis, personal integrity is the only safeguard of universal values.

  86. “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” I am Satan, and I approve this message.

  87. Constitutional monarchies, with severely restricted roles for the monarch, are still a bad idea. They instill the notion that some citizens are “higher” than others by way of birthright, and they “bridge” between democracies and atrocious absolute monarchies, such as the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, giving ammunition to their apologists.

  88. Eeeee, it is such a small step from appealing to appalling.

  89. When it comes to human beings having a disastrous influence: how high on the list is Rupert Murdoch? His wealth percentile is a good place to start but probably still represents an underestimate.

  90. “Colonizing space” is pie in the sky, while we have a good earthly meal here, and what is worse, this vision gives some of us the notion that one can shit all over the dinner table.

  91. China has much to justifiably complain about when we look at its historical treatment by western capitalism. But, taking back Hong Kong, retaining “production at all costs” while completely crushing democracy and human rights is to emulate, not to repudiate.

  92. Is part of the appeal of “letting the market decide” coming from the fact that you don’t have to think for yourself or make real choices and release yourself from responsibility?
    “Yes,” “No,” or “Let the market decide.”

  93. The great shame of our age: it is only for the powerless, while the powerful are shameless.

  94. CPAC – Where stupidity and malice come to breed.

  95. Why does the US struggle to be lawful? Because organizing justice according to free-market principles is incompatible with fairness.

  96. Overstating it, politicians are either in it for ideals or power. Alas, while you want the first ones, the latter is more effective in getting on top. Could incorporating sortition (look it up) improve democracy.

  97. Atheists hold many things “sacred”: for instance, other people, art, science, literature, and the common good.

  98. No, “Darwinian economy” is not an accurate description of cutthroat capitalism, as the latter does not encompass cooperation, care, or altruism. Please, read “The Descent of Man,” you shallow and superficial “thinkers.”

  99. James Dyson: Air Bag or wind Bag?

  100. As an “old white guy,” I am glad that Bernie Sanders shows that not all OWG’s are terrible. However, I must admit there are so many horrible exemplars in the public eye that I understand the common perception.

  101. The eighties should be known as the “RT period of human history,” in which “RT” stands for “retrograde” or Reagan (yes, he really was the reactionary racist you thought he was)/Thatcher (brighter, but just as deluded). O, the damage this dominating duo did together, persisting till this day.

  102. Don’t punish addicts; help them.

  103. Come on, America, stop being so relaxed about guns and uptight about drugs. Try it the other way around for a change…

  104. EVERUNCAPITODI! (“Everything unregulated Capitalism touches, dies”): a battle cry for the ages.

  105. The right is always wrong.

  106. Capital punishment: a capital mistake.

  107. Perfect Pleonasm: Repugnant Republican Reputation.

  108. It is not Trump, the extreme pathological outlier, which gives rise to soul-crushing despair; it is his huge group of voters and enablers.

  109. “Follow the money” does not explain all behavior, but it explains quite a lot of bad behavior.

  110. Milton Friedman won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences: one of the strongest arguments to show that this is not a real Nobel Prize and “Economic Sciences” is an oxymoron.

  111. The ABC of the left: “Altruism is abundant”; “Bonding is better”: “Caring is common” versus the EFG of the right: “Empathy is evil”; “Fascism is freedom”; “Greed is good.”

  112. If we end up with future historians (and chances are getting slimmer by the day), the so-called “Chamber of Commerce” institutions will be seen for what they truly are: places celebrating the monotheism of money and ante-chambers of hell.

  113. If criticizing Israel’s policies is considered anti-Semitic, about half of its Jewish population would have to be thus classified.

  114. One cannot have a rational “hierarchy of the arts,” but personally, I cannot but put Music (it deserves a capital) on top.

  115. Gerrymandering not only redistricts but also opens up avenues (to dictatorship, to be precise).

  116. Karma as a metaphysical concept is nonsense, but as a guide for personal conduct, it serves as a reminder of the danger of Faustian bargains; every tiny dishonesty making the next one both more likely and bigger.

  117. Trying to get money out of politics is like trying to get rid of airborne pathogens: just as healthy as it is difficult.

  118. Irony? In some of the societal results, Neo-Liberalism is indistinguishable from Neo-Fascism: the large majority of people are given only the illusion of power.

  119. Economists, the only “scientists” who are too dumb to understand the second law of thermodynamics.

  120. Large banks should be busted-up.

  121. In science, one learns to distinguish facts from opinions, which is less easy than one might think. However, here are some objective facts: Lindsey Olin Graham, Newton Leroy “Newt” Gingrich, William Pelham “Bill” Barr, Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz, and Addison Mitchell “Mitch” McConnell are criminals, endangering the future of democracy and humanity.

  122. Without stopping to always side-line people in favor of real redistribution of wealth and power (like Bernie Sanders or AOC), the Democrats leave the US open to a horrifying “Trumpian” resurgence.

  123. Evolution has shown how to get intelligence fast: create a runaway process where problem-solving power is selected within the group, thus concomitantly making the group better at selecting problem-solving power.

  124. When asked about climate-change, Amy Coney Barrett answered, “I’m certainly not a scientist”; if she would be asked about whether it is not dangerous to select members of the judiciary only because they support the ideology of the executive that selects them, as illustrated by, let’s say, Nazi Germany, she would probably demure: “I’m certainly not a historian.”

  125. BANK CEO – Beyond Amoral Nasty Kleptocrat Creating Economic Ordeal?

  126. Twitter, tweets, twats.

  127. The Trump presidency of the last 4 years and the GOP’s behavior over the last 40 have proven American exceptionalism: exceptionally evil.

  128. Just to state the obvious: on balance, religion is a source of evil, but true believers can be heartbreakingly good. Who does not feel their own many imperfections when compared to Martin Luther King or Sophie Scholl?

  129. Everybody using the term “Darwinian economy” to describe cutthroat competition is completely unaware of what Darwin actually wrote and thought about (human) cooperation, and, even more detrimental, makes the possibility of educating about one of the greatest scientific insights in schools everywhere, a bit slimmer.

  130. The American Dream, “climbing to the top from the bottom,” actually is the American Nightmare, stepping on everybody else along the way.

  131. Pray tell, what praying ever did.

  132. Again: the minimum requirement for a functional democracy constitutes a well-educated, physically healthy population without large-scale poverty. Thus, affordable public schooling, healthcare, and some kind of redistributive taxation are essential. Check party programs to see which of them are really committed to democracy.

  133. Watching TV makes one journalistless.

  134. The state of the fourth estate has contributed to our current state.

  135. Equating all criticism of Israel with antisemitism might be an effective ploy, but the consequence is that the immoral policies of several Israeli governments towards the Palestinians cannot be openly commented upon. How will that help to resolve the conflict in a non-violent, just way?

  136. Religious UPbringing = Intellectual DOWNfall.

  137. It is hard to estimate the amount of damage our innumeracy and fragile grasp of statistics has done and is doing.

  138. There is no problem of wealth creation, only a problem of wealth distribution. Greed (wanting more than your fair share) is at the root of almost all societal evils.

  139. Genetics and modern science tell us that the reason certain groups do not fulfill their potential is to be found in societal structures: thus, the problem is us, not them (I clearly have a potential for self-righteousness).

  140. The redemption of (the) Sundays: “when you’re coasting along and nobody is trying too hard.”

  141. USA: stating that “The Republicans are not democrats” is more meaningful than one might think.

  142. District system or equal representation? Just the many ways in which the first can be manipulated are disqualifying.

  143. ACB – All Christian Berserk – Awful Churchgoing Bigot – Amy Coney Barrett?

  144. AOC- All Outreaching Competency – Amazing Outgoing Cheerleader – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

  145. “We only use 10% of our brainpower”: a statement mostly made by people who use 0%.

  146. “Sir Jim Ratcliffe, UK’s richest person and high-profile Brexiteer has quit Britain for tax-free Monaco.” The rat leaves the white cliffs because his black soul has become too easily discernible.

  147. Pascal’s wager: I bet you can see that it is really silly.

  148. After more than 2000 years, the stoic ideal of “trying to understand the world, working together and treating everybody fairly and justly” is still unsurpassed (but of course, the difficulties come with applying the maxim in day-to-day reality).

  149. How many public debates have been ruined by stupid ‘essentialists,” discarding useful terms because they are fluid and cannot be absolutely defined? But also, how many public debates have been poisoned by dangerous ideologues, using useless terms, because they can be wielded as weapons though nothing in reality corresponds? Now distinguish between instances of both.

  150. Humanity, more the pity, is much and much less rational than it considers itself.

  151. Alas, I tend to position myself in “the party of one”: pure, principled, powerless.

  152. Misers spread misery.

  153. “The greatest country on earth,” hahahahahahaha.

  154. When it comes to the hypocrisy of religion, American white evangelicals are unbeatable.

  155. The pen is deadlier than the sword.

  156. The three original sins of the USA: racism, religion, and rapaciousness. And boy, they were synergistic!

  157. Ethics: how to apply “absolute” principles to messy reality.

  158. Do not underestimate the destructive power of imaginary entities.

  159. Getting older: from neurons to neuroffs.

  160. Pity, “mankind” is not commutative (“kind man”)…

  161. Everything has an expiration date (“the second law of thermodynamics dominates the first”).

  162. Of the anarchists, the right-wing ones (also known as free-market capitalists) have done immeasurably more damage.

  163. I would like to formulate this aphorism originally myself: “Power corrupts, absolute power absolutely.” What a shame, both its truth and its pithiness cannot be improved upon. Please, people, prove me wrong (on content, not on form).

  164. Companies and advertising agencies using “all-natural ingredients” as a selling point should be fined for allowing the disastrous misconceptions of vitalism to fester.

  165. The ideal to strive for: a politician’s constituency is all of humanity.

  166. Not only is constituency voting much less democratic than equal representation, but constituency voting plus gerrymandering equals dictatorship.

  167. “Libertarian” or “Anarchist”; these people might think they are completely different, but their core belief is the same: let me act as if I am alone on the planet.

  168. Of course, huge inequality hurts the “have-nots” most severely, but the possible psychological damage of growing up with extreme wealth and power should not be underestimated either, especially because the

    damaged will become parents, in turn, perpetuating misery.

  169. Alas, I cannot come up with anything better than: “To thine own self be true.”

  170. All living creatures evolve, with the exception of creationists.

  171. Interesting to see that some Russian internet sites are upholding the proud tradition of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”: still flooding the public domain with disgusting forgeries to derail humanity completely.

  172. Though in power, right-wing nut-jobs still complain about being bullied, and, surprisingly, they are correct: reality itself bites back.

  173. The default position when meeting someone who voluntarily chose to study economics: they are either intellectually or morally flawed. You sometimes have to change your mind (when it is both).

  174. Repeat after me: OMG, FMG (Facebook, Myanmar, Genocide).

  175. Referring to yourself as “Palestinian” now can be experienced as being offensive to others. Can one overdose on irony?

  176. No, the most lethal compounds are not “man-made,” but all concocted by organisms. Nature is not your fairy god-mother.

  177. The most dangerous political leaders have a “feet of clay” personality, i.e., outer confidence and power masking deep inner uncertainty. This also explains why, on average, male politicians are more threatening than female ones.

  178. In science, occasionally, old insights are replaced by new ones; in philosophy, the same (whether true or false) are just reappearing in new guises.

  179. Shocking to hear: a compulsion to pun can be a sign of brain damage. I already started when I was still really puny…

  180. Something is nagging me: my brain is more intelligent than I am.

  181. “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” — Lev Tolstoy. But: “Is it possible to improve on perfection?” — The Kid.

  182. Our “can do” attitude: as soon as we develop new technology, we use it. This lies at the root of untold misery.

  183. To demonize by the dynamics of discussion: for every just cause, you can always find people horribly expounding them. Let’s invite (only) them! Also known as modern journalism.

  184. Facebook logic: invoking “free speech” to enable the end of free speech.

  185. “GOD” the most useless term ever invented.

  186. Context is everything.

  187. Afraid of dying? Talk to a true believer, and you’ll start welcoming it, only not in the way they intended.

  188. The love of wine is the only possible justification for alcohol consumption. Well, apart from beer, port, eau de vie, and many others, that is.

  189. I love most people but from a safe distance.
    189a. 
    We suddenly need extra context: That “AA” (aphorism above) was written before the pandemic.

  190. If the future holds a human civilization, their historians will describe Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation as a criminal (enterprise).

  191. We probably have no future. Thank goodness our predictions are so often wrong.

  192. Our intelligence came about as the, in evolutionary terms, extremely rapid result of some kind of positive feedback loop; is the concomitant lack of balance the reason why we are not clever enough to save ourselves?

  193. In most instances of applying the death penalty, I can give many rational arguments that prove it to be unjust in the specific case but to be honest, it just fills me with a deep emotional abhorrence every goddamn time.

  194. Want to explain the term “Astroturf”? Just mention that, surprisingly, tea can grow without roots (but at least it is still a plant).

  195. “The end justifies the means” is probably the worst possible justification, as using it almost always just stresses how indefensible the means are.

  196. The Trias Politica is a “necessary condition” for Democracy. Alas, the mindset of many American Republicans has shown it not to be a “sufficient condition.”

  197. What is an oxymoron? “The religious right.” What is a moron? A religious right-winger deprived of oxygen.

  198. I have to make a very emotional statement: “Only science and rationality can save us.”

  199. The limits to exponential growth: you only see where it will end when it is too late (for the mathematically challenged: look it up).

  200. Seeing that every conceivable god-like creature has to be incredibly evil, the GOP (God’s Own Party) starts to make sense.

  201. “All lives matter”: both absolutely right and absolutely wrong. You can figure it out, can’t you?

  202. Voting Republican to improve society is like watching Fox to improve your mind.

  203. From an open letter to Fox News: “The basic purpose of news organizations is to discover and tell the truth.” That’s News to Fox!

  204. Not clever enough for Mathematics? Not curious enough for Science? Not industrious enough for Law? Not gifted enough for Art? Not emphatic enough for Medicine? Not tenacious enough for Engineering? Economics!

  205. Free Market Capitalism = FMC = Fuck Mankind for Capital.

  206. Democracy and expertise are not at odds: expertise allows informed decisions by the non-experts (most of us by far).

  207. As a white male who thinks of himself as emphatic and not unimaginative (hey, I think of myself as emphatic!), a month of living as a woman, or black, or both, would certainly still be absolutely shocking.
    207a. 
    Update: if you reach the end of the month…
    207b. Update on the “Update”: a black person wouldn’t have needed that update.

  208. Democracy does NOT simply mean: “the majority decides,” which is why referenda are political tools for which, in most instances, the drawbacks outweigh the advantages.

  209. “RACE” = Reliably Accessed Conceptual Eyesore.

  210. O, Washington! Exitus acta NON probat.

  211. An aphorism a day keeps Alzheimer’s at bay.

  212. “Supreme court”; always remember “supreme” is an adjective, not a substantive, word form.

  213. Far-right: their level of competence is inversely related to the level of certitude and sense of entitlement.

  214. Libertarianism = a lethal lack of imagination.

  215. The half-wit is more dangerous than the nitwit (exception: Donald Trump).

  216. He has a fine choice of books and chooses not to read them (in honor of Constantijn Huygens).

  217. Religion: the road to hell.

  218. Billions of people: if you love children, don’t have them.

  219. Think-tanks, where thinking tanks.

  220. Even Goya’s series “The Disasters of War” did not reduce conflict. Thus, probably nothing will.

  221. The strength of your convictions is not a measure of their correctness (Frau Goebbels and her children).

  222. O, irony; the “Citizens United” ruling has degraded the meaning of “citizen” and tore society apart.

  223. “Corporations are people too”; a succinct expression of moral collapse.

  224. Members of parliament in the UK refer to each other as “Right Honourable,” which is odd. They are not often honorable and even less often right. Please use the odd term such that you get even!

  225. Arguments in favor of “intelligent design”: the best examples of bad faith reasoning.

  226. I tell you in good faith: “there is only bad faith.”

  227. Deeply felt is not deeply known.

  228. Some artists feel very modern, like Voltaire or Goya. Alas, these are not optimists.

  229. “Homo sapiens”: animal species, completely out of its depth.

  230. If there is still somebody around to read this in 500 years, I would:
    a) be
    surprised;
    b) urge that person to find better reading material.

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