Saturday, July 18, 2009

General Rules

  1. People who give you a very short period of time to decide whether to buy what they are selling are trying to slip something past you.
  2. It is a mistake to accord automatic trust to companies, unions, or governments.
  3. Few scoundrels are unethical all the time.
  4. Being able to spot weasel words is one of the most important skills in life.
  5. Trusting your intuition that something is wrong is usually wiser than trusting your intuition that something is right.
  6. Some highly educated people stopped learning twenty or more years ago.
  7. The more you know about a news topic, the more you are disturbed by the reporting on the news topic.
  8. Some of the most anti-American people you'll ever meet are Americans.
  9. Always know the strongest arguments on both sides but don't assume that either side has a strong argument.
  10. A test of knowledge is whether or not the person can explain the subject in plain language.
  11. Beware of anyone who is cruel to subordinates.
  12. It is better to have and not need than to need and not have.
  13. The most articulate person is not necessarily the wisest but many people will believe that to be the case.
  14. Celebrity is not the same as greatness.
  15. Don't kid yourself: Experience matters.


John said...

This is a great list. As individual aphorisms each is unremarkable, but as a list they are a work of art.

I don't see a link. Is this your personal collection from a lifetime of experience and observation?

Michael Wade said...

Thanks John.

For good or for bad they are my own.


David said...

Like "Desiderata and Kipling's poem "If," your list should be framed, printed on laminated wallet cards, and made into greeting cards for graduations and eighteenth birthdays.

Michael Wade said...


That's very kind of you. Those are two of my favorites.


Rob said...

A very insightful collection -
If only everybody took the time to understand the reality of the world they live in, rather than the illusion the majority seem to exist in.

Jeff said...

Told to the Youngers, they're like messages from the future.

Unfortunately, most of these lessons have to be learned from experience - and hopefully learned sooner rather than later.

If we weren't so dang smart when we were Youngers... :)

- J.

Michael Wade said...

Thanks, Rob. I feel that a large portion of my life has been a process of discovering what's real and what matters. Far too much time is wasted by the irrelevant.


Good point. I frequently cringe at things I did years ago. You can learn a lot from scars.