Aphorisms

Tree These are all by Tad Boniecki. If any of them are borrowed or stolen then this is unconscious or accidental (as in "mediocre minds think alike"). If any are brilliant that is pure accident. Most of these thoughts are intended to be serious, though there is a section of humour. This page is best read in small instalments.


My aphorisms are not up to the standard of the "wise sayings", so why do I include them? Apart from vanity, the reason is that I want this site to be primarily a place for new ideas, a venue for what is happening now, rather than an archeological dig through the writings of people who are established and/or dead.


July 2007: I have added some new thoughts to each section, starting with ==================


On the mind

Mathematics is like syphilis; all you can do is pass it on.

A true mark of sophistication is to recognise quality in the most unlikely places.

I hate to cloud an issue by thinking about it.

It's not easy to explain the obvious.

Nothing is less trustworthy than certainty.

'Objective' is synonymous with 'agrees with me'.

Even cockroaches make mistakes.

Programmer's credo: I have seen the enemy and it's me.

Who is looking over my shoulder as I write?

I am a subsistence thinker.

The mind is amazing. It automatically adjusts the road rules to justify whatever we do.

Unlike genius, idiocy has no limits.

A fool and his ignorance are not easily parted.

Habit is read-only memory.

Unlike us, animals don't have civilisation to confuse them.

If you are smart enough you can rationalise your most idiotic actions.

Human intelligence has created many more problems than it has solved.

The trouble with talking to yourself is that you don't get a sympathetic hearing.

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What am I? A compulsion to repeat, with occasional creative incidents.

Definition of "obvious": something that you puzzle over for so long that in the end you cannot understand why you didn't see it straight away.

The trouble with human beings is that we are thinking machines with no off switch.

Unlike with people, no dog is so smart that he is made stupid by intelligence.

A dog is too grounded in reality to mistake a photo for a thing.

Doubt is so powerful that it can reduce mountains to molehills.

I want to be more source than sink.

If you stop moving you die.


Philosophy

Inconsistency is the first human freedom.

Life is a gradual process of discovering one's mortality.

The Catholic Church is like the rear end of the procession of civilisation: if they pick up an idea then you can be sure everyone else has already.

Conservative: one who pokes through the ashes of yesterday's fire instead of looking for fuel to light a new one.

Narcissism and the lust for power pay little attention to details of superstructure such as communism, democracy or religion.

The greatest inhumanity, and the source of all evil, is not fear, greed or lust for power, but simply the denial of the humanity of another.

The existential problem reduces to: What to do when there's nothing to do?

Koan: what does it mean to take the escalator to the floor you are already on?

Too much moderation is not good for you.

Life is like a railway system - long delays are possible, sudden arrivals are not.

As for eating meat and killing cockroaches, man cannot live on karma alone.

Life is too interesting to collect stamps.

Marxism is the opiate of the intellectuals.

If there is no split between thinking and feeling then you have the animal level of existence, where mind and emotions always act completely in unison.

The quest for consistency will inevitably lead to error.

Old people are right, the world is going to the dogs, but it has been for thousands of years.

A guru is not allowed to have opinions. He just knows.

We differ from animals in that the human being is susceptible to every imaginable delusion.

Piety without humanity is one of the greatest causes of evil.

Normality is a form of craziness sanctioned by local custom.

We live in a culture of envy.

It is shocking that nearly all the worst problems facing man are man-made.

Kant's ideas, eg that it is never rational to lie, show the utter bankruptcy of rationality if it is divorced from common sense.

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Being consistent is greatly over-rated for it precludes learning.

Both for societies and for individuals the only sane path is tolerance.

This is it. There is no more 'it' than this.

Stop-gap measures are all we can ever do in life. Permanence is an illusion.

The difference between the guru and the disciple is that the disciple can still learn things.

We have our bodies on loan only.

The meaning of life? To search for meaning all one's life.

If knowledge is an island then paradox is the shoreline.

To be venerated is a curse for human beings. If God existed he would hate it too.

I don't think I would want to live in an universe without Murphy's Law. It would be boring and mechanical.

Don't worry too much about waste. Eventually everything will be wasted.


Psychology

Unconsciousness is no excuse.

We need other people to keep us sane.

All of us are anonymous royalty.

Thoughts are idiosyncratic, feelings are universal.

One criticism erases ten compliments.

People give advice in order to make themselves feel better about another's situation.

I'm still not finished with being young.

Emotion is important to learning because mistakes hurt.

Other people's hang-ups seem silly and unnecessary. Our own seem to be facts of life.

The world is neither malignant nor benign. To imagine it is either is to inflate our own importance to cosmic proportions.

The poor in spirit will always be with us.

Unless I change direction I'll end up where I am already.

The less you know yourself the more you think you do.

Shy people are closet exhibitionists.

I don't feel important enough to bother hating myself.

It's silliness that prevents us shrivelling up.

The difference between self-love and narcissism is that one is love of one's self, the other love of one's ego.

Nothing unites people as effectively as opposition to other people.

The perfect moment is one that does not look to a future moment, or to a past one.

You have to build up the ego before you can analyse it.

Most people use recursion to avoid the existential problem: "I may not know what life is about but maybe my children will."

Giving is more comfortable than receiving.

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With all the aggression of the non-assertive.

One of these days I'll get around to living in the present.

Nothing costs more to maintain than ego.

We're a flawed species. Flawed even by our own flawed standards.

Habit is the attempt to relive the past.

Boredom is a great source of stimulation.

Parents invest so much energy in trying to make their children a better version of themselves that they miss out on discovering what their children are actually like.

Contempt for eccentricity is contempt for creativity.

The bars of my cage are habit and fear.

The secret of getting more energy is to do things.

No matter how you turn, hide and move around, you can be sure that life will send you things. On top of that, it is often a self-addressed envelope.

Human beings are future-seeking animals.

When they ARE out to get you, you are likely to be paranoid.

Stubbornness is essentially the unwillingness to accept reality.

The ordinary bore has nothing to say or talks only about themselves. Worse is the bore who repeats this.

Writers are closet exhibitionists.

But then, what are parents for, if not to criticise us in whatever we choose to do?

To project is human, to see divine.

At least don't put fertiliser on the noxious weeds growing in your mind.

Distraction can work wonders, and not only for children.

Stupidity that has achieved the status of normality is still stupidity. Eg footbinding, smoking, genital mutilation.

You aren't yet completely crazy if you still laugh at your own foibles.


On sex, the sexes, relationships

It's basic to human nature to want to change the people closest to you and equally natural that they vigorously resist this.

A woman wants her man to break down the barriers and force her to get what she wants.

Being married to a woman who always has cream on her face is like living in a house that is permanently under renovation.

Q: Why was Eve created second?
A: Even God learns from His mistakes.

A perfect woman overlooks the imperfections in her man.

Being part of a couple long enough is like wearing two watches. If they both tell the same time then one is superfluous.

Lewdness is its own reward.

Among women there is not much of a market for shy, sensitive males.

As for strong women, the stronger they are, the more shit they take from their men.

Sex-appeal is the best aphrodisiac.

A Wonder-bra is cheaper than a divorce.

Fellatio is the safest and most enjoyable oral contraceptive.

The trouble with women is that they are far too concerned with trivial things, such as reality.

Beauty hidden is beauty lost.

There's always ointment in the fly.

All I want is a bit more than you'll give me.

It's very simple: the sweeter the girl the nastier the creep she falls for.

Sex is not all in the mind, but the rest is just friction.

Familiarity breeds.

A woman always gives her man a choice: he can submit or be beaten into submission.

Deep down, every woman knows that her man is not good enough.

Semen is thicker than water.

Any perversion - especially chastity - takes up more energy than the natural expression of sex.

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A woman is like the best wine - she gets better with age.

A healthy mixture of mutual fear is essential to a good relationship.

Women are highly creative in problem generation.

Sex postponed is sex lost.

Women embark on a life-long project of partner improvement. When a man marries he thinks he has found a good woman and wants to be with her. The woman thinks, "He's got potential."

Women always require permission from other women.

The first law of relationship is that nothing that is obvious to the man is obvious to the woman, and vice versa.

The woman's role in a relationship is to create a worry out nothing or almost nothing, and then to annoy the hell out of her man until he does something about it.

A woman is a joke-free zone.

Better than finding a goddess is finding a woman who (occasionally) treats you like a god.

Who says a man can't stuff up two things at the same time?


Assorted

It never stays early for long.

Adulthood is the time when we try to recapture the childhood we didn't have.

The only freedom worth having is the freedom to do nothing.

Fashion is based on the fear of being different.

You've got to leave paradise in order to appreciate it.

The trouble with fun is that you can't schedule it.

Self-deprecation is indirectly asking for praise.

One of the benefits of not telling lies is that you can afford to have a bad memory.

Freedom is not worth much unless you know what you really want.

Rock music is so bad it cannot be parodied.

What's most precious is what has been lost.

The way to a mother's heart is through her son's stomach.

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Bad taste is not possible in unpolished stone.

Working for yourself is the ultimate form of slavery.

We are fortunate to live in a country where honesty is a viable option.

Does money matter? A lot if you don't have it; not at all if you do.


This is funny?

Sitting on the fence tears your pants.

One of these days I'll get around to living in the moment.

I never got used to reality.

I may not be going anywhere, but I want to get there as quickly as possible.

We are not even the 'chosen species'.

Q: How many pure mathematicians does it take to change a light-bulb?
A: Four. One to prove it exists, the second to prove it is unique, the third to show it can be done, and the fourth to find a first-year student to change it.

There's no time like the imagined future.

You know how it is with kids, one day they are starting school, the next thing you hear they are about to retire.

Gravity comes before the fall.

Now that I have seen plastic road-blocks I know that nothing is sacred any more.

I am not superficial, my ignorance runs deep.

The good thing about being an Anglo is that wherever you go the food will be better than what you had at home.

I'm not the man I used to think I was.

Descartes for the millenium: I graffiti therefore I am.

The computer is the most advanced of all labour-creating devices.

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Breakfast is what you make it.

One achievement of the Cuban revolution is the provision of plentiful parking spots.

Hell has no fury like a coloratura soprano full-throating.

Q: How are you?
A: Oh, I'm between psychiatrists.

Me, crazy? No, but I am working on it.

To err is human. To be a global idiot you need a website.

Integrity is one of these things you cannot buy enough of.

Just because you don't know what you are doing that does not mean you are an artist.

Oxymoron: youth culture.

I itch therefore I am.

Where there is a will there is a way, to legally challenge it.


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