Sippican Cottage

chess (2)


A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

Words To Live By For Monday

I decided to write an aphorism from scratch today. It’s harder than I thought. Here goes:

If one man is playing checkers, the other chess, the man playing checkers will win.

Whew. That was a lot of work. Just like playing chess. I’m going to play checkers for the rest of the essay and just steal other people’s stuff. All unattributed, because I’m lazy and who knows who said what first anyway?

  • Technology is dominated by two types of people — those who understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand.
  • Brains x Beauty x Availability = Constant.
    This constant is always zero.
  • Any change looks terrible at first.
  • Sow your wild oats on Saturday night. On Sunday pray for crop failure.
  • Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.
  • Air goes in and out, blood goes round and round; any variation on this is bad.
  • If it’s stupid but it works, it wasn’t stupid.
  • An expert is someone brought in at the last minute to share blame.
  • Every thorough investigation leads to confusion.
  • Simple things are hard.
  • The chance of a computer crash is directly proportional to the importance of the document.
  • Any subject interesting to teachers is boring or counterfactual; usually both.
  • We could do worse; we always have.

3 Responses

  1. George Saintsbury on Laurence Sterne: ‘When a man of genius steals, he always makes the thefts his own.’

  2. When my sister and brother-in-law sold insurance, the company for which they worked used to run promotions. The really effective ones were always discontinued. They coined this:

    “It worked so well, we had to stop doing it.”

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