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ABOUT NJE Meetings

"Prove me that you are conscious!"

You can find various quotations I collected over time. Some of them are my own aphorisms.

e pluribus unum

  1. Expressions and impressions do not correspond.
  2. Не учищь не мучищь.
  3. Change is changing too. (summary of Ray Kurzweil on Heraclitus' famous dictum)
  4. Question the questions. It is not enough to question the answers.
  5. Every teacher is a little bit of a prophet if they are serious about it.
  6. Knowledge of history makes a cynical person; philosophy a dubious person; science an arrogant person; music a sentimental person; and knowledge of knowledge makes an agnostic.
  7. Biliyorsun iki tip insan vardır: bir tanes bilim insanı, diğeri ne bilim insanı.
  8. I will teach you the virtues of ignorance, of agnosticism. The less you know the better as in the Left Hand of Darkness.
  9. All that reason will ever lead you is to acknowledge that the only thing you know is that you don't know a thing.
  10. From a personal distance, you can love or hate humans, but when you take your feelings away, you can just say: Ecce Homo
  11. I would prefer the theologians hair-splitting over trivial matters, than scientists splitting atoms. The modern world has brought us to the edge of extinction, and it is our worship of science and technology that has done so.
  12. We are moving from a world of anonymity to a world of unanimity.
  13. A dynamic world cannot be ruled by static rules.
  14. Rich men's jokes are always funny
  15. We are all wise until we speak.
  16. The fruits of science are useless.
  17. Assumed ignorance is better than presumed knowledge, and in the final account, all knowledge is presumptuous
  18. everything, except the rule that everything changes, changes.
  19. Science is the fantasy of the senses, philosophy is the fantasy of the mind, and mysticism is the fantasy of the heart.
  20. Look at the things you hate. They are usually the things that you don't have.
  21. The mark of a mature man is swearing as much as he can and his passionate eyes;
  22. the mark of a wise man is talking as little as he can and his exhausted eyes
  23. A man is mature inasmuch as he swears!
  24. A man is wise insofar as he keeps quiet.
  25. The priests try to control people through their spirits, the doctors through ilnesses, lawyers by destiny, government officials through bureaucracy, teachers through education, tyrants through political power, police and army through physical power, and everyone in one way or another, try to exert their power while putting manacles on others.
  26. Music is re-creation, it is a creative exercise. Creativity and good composition pleases. It represents culture, and it is a very important indicator of sophistication along with other aesthetic creative endeavors such as architecture.
  27. Music is the exercise of creation. Those who are not involved in arts and creation will let their creativity dwindle.
  28. The attempt to create artificial intelligence without all the necessary ingredients and the right processes is like trying to fry dry pasta in a saucepan.
  29. You are what you make of yourself, and what you make of yourself determines, to some extent, what you will make of yourself.
  30. Implications make life convoluted.
  31. God is not important for me because I am not important for God.
  32. Vibrations, energy, music, reverberation and resonance. There are some people with whom you can establish resonance only if they are in a relevant frequency to yours. A person has various vibrations which are picked up by others. Just like smells.
  33. Logic imprisons humor
  34. To put yourself in others' shoes (i.e. to empathize), the first thing you need to do is to remove your shoes
  35. The problem of good deeds is that they are not as much reciprocal as evil deeds are.
  36. Dating and engagement are trials, and marriage is "The Full Version" so you have to pay for it.
  37. War must be good and useful, otherwise the intelligent humankind would have had already put an end to it.
  38. The more reasonable someone is the less capacity someone has for making decisions; and the less reasonable someone is, the more likely someone is to make decisions -good or bad.
  39. There isn't much you can do with uncultivated people, you can either have your right to remain silent and distant or ridicule.
  40. (how to deal with folly, or not to deal with folly)
  41. If you want to be happy, underestimate life.
  42. If people say "You are right." It usually means, "I'm tired of talking about this."
  43. Life gets even less tolerable when you understand how intolerable it is.
  44. Everybody loves their own version of common sense.
  45. Prejudices are useful, it is the stereo-types that are bad. Had it not been for pre-judices, you wouldn't even be able to cross the street. Prejudices are inductive inferences about the world.
  46. Everyone deserves the best of everything. No one gets what they deserve: either those who deserve don't get it, or those who don't deserve have it in abundence. What is to deserve anyway? It presupposes free will and that we are responsible for our actions. We are not responsible for our actions. No one can judge me: neither any individual, nor society, nor God.
  47. Giving myself a name means: "I do not care for your reality, and what you think is real. You cannot control me, and I don't care what it says on my passport"
  48. Justice is an illusion and once you stop complaining about the injustices in the world, you can get down to taking action.
  49. Justice is the cohesive illusion that keeps the society together, and some must go to prison and be punished for other people's belief in justice to be satisfied, whether they are guilty or not. Laws and religion are there to keep us believe in some kind of justice and live together.
  50. Judging others is the complete absence of sympathy and the full exercise of arrogance.
  51. Quantity is not a justification of being right. A charlatain may as well have a lot of followers but this makes him nonethebetter. These populist tendencies are a menacing result of the head-counting practice of democracy which make people believe that if something is popular, it must be good. As an elitist and a meritocratist or at least an anarchist I loathe the majority rule, and believe that majority of the people are ignorant and not capable of making sound decisions. The new opium of the west is democracy which they export to stupify nations. When people come together their intelligence does not increase -- just the opposite: they get down to the average common denominator.
  52. Forex is basically gambling, and it is gambling with other people's money without their consent.
  53. Create a problem, create a solution, get the all the credit.
  54. Reality can be measured by number: the number of people who believe in it.
  55. Is there any meaning to life other than what we attribute to it?
  56. "We are proud of the harm and disturbance we cause." disrespectfully yours -automobiles and their arrogant drivers
  57. Bureaucracy is proof either of the absence of God, or the dominance of Satan.
  58. The most common denominator is most frequently the lowest common denominator; this is the core problem of populist approaches.
  59. You can't live in this world in sanity, unless you are already insane.
  60. Any theory is coherent until it is disproven.
  61. Nathan Fielding
Oscar Wilde
  • Other people are quite dreadful, the only possible society is oneself
  • Oscar Wilde The errors of a wise man make your rule
    Rather than the perfections of a fool
    Does the Eagle know what is in the pit?
    Or wilt thou go ask the mole:
    Can Wisdom be put in a silver rod?
    Or Love in a golden bowl?
    William Blake
    “Enough of Science and of Art;
    Close up those barren leaves;
    Come forth, and bring with you a heart
    That watches and receives.”
    William Wordsworth
    Do not judge lest thou shall be judged Jesus
    Don't curse the darkness—light a candle.
    Chinese Proverb
    A knowledgeable fool is a greater fool than an ignorant fool. Moliere
    Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
    When you meet someone better than yourself, turn your thoughts to becoming his equal. When you meet someone not as good as you are, look within and examine your own self. The Master said, 'In serving your father and mother you ought to dissuade them from doing wrong in the gentlest way. If you see your advice being ignored, you should not become disobedient but remain reverent. You should not complain even if in doing so you wear yourself out.' Confucius The Master said, 'The gentleman understands what is moral. The small man understands what is profitable.' Confucius What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.
    'It is only the benevolent man who is capable of liking or disliking other men.'
    'What can a man do with the rites who is not benevolent? What can a man do with music who is not benevolent?' Shall I teach you what knowledge is? When you know a thing, to hold that you know it; and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it. This is knowledge.
    In a country well governed poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed wealth is something to be ashamed of.
    The superior man is satisfied and composed; the mean man is always full of distress.
    Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.
    The people may be made to follow a course of action, but they may not be made to understand it.
    Beauty is truth, truth beauty, -that is allow Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. Ode on a Grecian Urn, John Keats
    I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.
    The unexamined life is not worth living.
    Living well and beautifully and justly are all one thing.
    Bad men live that they may eat and drink, whereas good men eat and drink that they may live. Socrates
    What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know, its what we know for sure that just ain't so.
    Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.
    All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
    You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
    It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
    Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
    The lack of money is the root of all evil.
    It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.
    I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. On “Education”.
    Mark Twain
    Radix malorum est cupiditas: Avarice (Greed) is the root of evil
    Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it. Bernard Shaw
    Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work.
    The noblest work of God? Man. Who found it out? Man.
    Property is organized robbery. Bernard Shaw
    I am a gentleman. I live by robbing the poor. Bernard Shaw
    Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few. Bernard Shaw
    We must be thoroughly democratic and patronize everybody without distinction of class.
    A hero is born among a hundred, a wise man is found among a thousand, but an accomplished one might not be found even among a hundred thousand man.
    Any man can easily do harm, but not every man can do good to another.
    All men should strive to learn before they die
    What they are running from, and to, and why.
    All that we see or seem
    Is but a dream within a dream.
    Edgar Alan Poe
    Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking;
    Govern a family as you would cook a small fish - very gently. Chinese Proverb
    History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon. Napoleon
    What is history but a fable agreed upon? - What is history except a fable not quite agreed upon...
    All that remained was the scientific specialist, who knew "more and more about less and less,” and the
    philosophical speculator, who new less and less about more and more. Will Durant
    “Woman, you see, is an object of such a kind that study it as much as you will, it is always quite new.”
    The best way to keep one's word is not to give it.
    Who should remain alive and praised,
    Who should stay dead without renown—
    Depends upon criteria
    That powerful sycophants lay down.
    Boris Pasternak
    Real humor begins when hope draws its last breath.
    Humor is better than rumor
    rumor is better than tumor
    tumor is better than führer
    It is hard to fill a cup which is full. Avatar
    The wise man has long ears, big eyes and a short tongue.
    There are two types of people in this world, good and bad. The good sleep better, but the bad seem to enjoy the waking hours much more.
    I took a course in speed reading learning to read straight down the middle of the page, and was able to read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It's about Russia.
    It is so much easier to slip down than it is to rise one iota above your own narrow, opportunist motives. A true spiritual birth is extraordinarily hard to achieve. -Andrei Tarkovsky
    Scribbler: A man needs just a woman to be happy, a woman wants everything in order to be happy. A man who doesn't need a woman to be happy will be happy with anything.
    A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not in the branch, but in her own wings.
    In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't.
    Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.
    The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.
    If you gain, you gain all. If you lose, you lose nothing. Wager then, without hesitation, that God exists.
    All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.
    Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.
    The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
    Blaise Pascal
    There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.
    In the infancy of societies, the chiefs of state shape its institutions; later the institutions shape the chiefs of state.
    False happiness renders men stern and proud, and that happiness is never communicated. True happiness renders them kind and sensible, and that happiness is always shared.
    Charles de Montesquieu
    While the whole of a work must be understood from individual words and their combination, any full understanding of an individual word presupposes understanding the whole.
    Wilhelm Dilthey
    One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. André Gide
    They will cheerfully speak of a bad man as happy and load him with honors and social esteem, provided he be rich and otherwise powerful.
    “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” Plato
    The majority has the might—more's the pity—but it hasn't right...The minority is always right. Henrik Ibsen
    I quite agree with you, sir, but what can two do against so many?
    Responding to a solitary hiss heard amid the applause at the first performance of Arms and the Man in 1894. George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
    Everything present is just and unjust and equally justified in both Friedrich Nietzsche

    –ABNORMAL, adj.
    Not conforming to standard. In matters of thought and conduct, to be independent is to be abnormal, to be abnormal is to be detested. Wherefore the lexicographer adviseth a striving toward the straiter [sic] resemblance of the Average Man than he hath to himself. Whoso attaineth thereto shall have peace, the prospect of death and the hope of Hell.
    –ACKNOWLEDGE,
    v.t. To confess. Acknowledgement of one another’s faults is the highest duty imposed by our love of truth.
    –ACTUALLY, adv.
    Perhaps; possibly.
    –ADMINISTRATION, n.
    An ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive the kicks and cuffs due to the premier or president. A man of straw, proof against bad-egging and dead-catting.
    –AIR, n.
    A nutritious substance supplied by a bountiful Providence for the fattening of the poor.
    –APPEAL, v.t.
    In law, to put the dice into the box for another throw.
    –APPETITE, n.
    An instinct thoughtfully implanted by Providence as a solution to the labor question.
    –ARREST, v.t.
    Formally to detain one accused of unusualness.
    God made the world in six days and was arrested on the seventh. _The Unauthorized Version_
    -BATTLE, n.
    A method of untying with the teeth of a political knot that would not yield to the tongue.
    –BEAUTY, n.
    The power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband.
    –BIGOT, n.
    One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain.
    –BLANK-VERSE, n.
    Unrhymed iambic pentameters — the most difficult kind of English verse to write acceptably; a kind, therefore, much affected by those who cannot acceptably write any kind.
    –BORE, n.
    A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
    –BOUNDARY, n. In political geography, an imaginary line between two nations, separating the imaginary rights of one from the imaginary rights of the other.
    –BRIDE, n.
    A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
    –BRUTE, n.
    See HUSBAND.
    ––CARTESIAN, adj.
    Relating to Descartes, a famous philosopher, author of the celebrated dictum, _Cogito ergo sum_ — whereby he was pleased to suppose he demonstrated the reality of human existence. The dictum might be improved, however, thus: _Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum_ — “I think that I think, therefore I think that I am;” as close an approach to certainty as any philosopher has yet made.
    –CHRISTIAN, n.
    One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor.
    One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.
    –CIRCUS, n.
    A place where horses, ponies and elephants are permitted to see men, women and children acting the fool.
    –COMMERCE, n.
    A kind of transaction in which A plunders from B the goods of C, and for compensation B picks the pocket of D of money belonging to E.
    –CONFIDANT, CONFIDANTE, n.
    One entrusted by A with the secrets of B, confided by _him_ to C.
    –CORPORATION, n.
    An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility. –“Criminal: A person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation.”
    –CYNIC, n.
    A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be. Hence the custom among the Scythians of plucking out a cynic’s eyes to improve his vision.
    [essence of] DANCE, v.i.
    To leap about to the sound of tittering music, preferably with arms about your neighbor’s wife or daughter. There are many kinds of dances, but all those requiring the participation of the two sexes have two characteristics in common: they are conspicuously innocent, and warmly loved by the vicious.
    –DARING, n.
    One of the most conspicuous qualities of a man in security.
    –DEFENCELESS, adj.
    Unable to attack.
    –DESTINY, n.
    A tyrant’s authority for crime and fool’s excuse for failure.
    –DICTIONARY, n.
    A malevolent literary device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and inelastic. This dictionary, however, is a most useful work.
    –DISTANCE, n.
    The only thing that the rich are willing for the poor to call theirs, and keep.
    –ECCENTRICITY, n.
    A method of distinction so cheap that fools employ it to accentuate their incapacity.
    –EDIBLE, adj.
    Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.
    –EDUCATION, n.
    That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.
    –EGOTIST, n.
    A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.
    –ESOTERIC, adj.
    Very particularly abstruse and consummately occult. The ancient philosophies were of two kinds, — _exoteric_, those that the philosophers themselves could partly understand, and _esoteric_, those that nobody could understand. It is the latter that have most profoundly affected modern thought and found greatest acceptance in our time.
    –EXCEPTION, n.
    A thing which takes the liberty to differ from other things of its class, as an honest man, a truthful woman, etc. “The exception proves the rule” is an expression constantly upon the lips of the ignorant, who parrot it from one another with never a thought of its absurdity. In the Latin, “_Exceptio probat regulam_” means that the exception _tests_ the rule, puts it to the proof, not _confirms_ it. The malefactor who drew the meaning from this excellent dictum and substituted a contrary one of his own exerted an evil power which appears to be immortal.
    -FORMA PAUPERIS.
    [Latin] In the character of a poor person — a method by which a litigant without money for lawyers is considerately permitted to lose his case.
    -FRIENDLESS, adj.
    Having no favors to bestow. Destitute of fortune. Addicted to utterance of truth and common sense.
    -FRIENDSHIP, n.
    A ship big enough to carry two in fair weather, but only one in foul.
    -FUTURE, n.
    That period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true and our happiness is assured.
    -GENEROUS, adj.
    Originally this word meant noble by birth and was rightly applied to a great multitude of persons. It now means noble by nature and is taking a bit of a rest.
    -GENEALOGY, n.
    An account of one’s descent from an ancestor who did not particularly care to trace his own.
    -GRAMMAR, n.
    A system of pitfalls thoughtfully prepared for the feet for the self-made man, along the path by which he advances to distinction.
    -GRAVITATION, n.
    The tendency of all bodies to approach one another with a strength proportion to the quantity of matter they contain — the quantity of matter they contain being ascertained by the strength of their tendency to approach one another. This is a lovely and edifying illustration of how science, having made A the proof of B, makes B the proof of A.
    -HOSTILITY, n.
    A peculiarly sharp and specially applied sense of the earth’s overpopulation. Hostility is classified as active and passive; as (respectively) the feeling of a woman for her female friends, and that which she entertains for all the rest of her sex.
    -HOUSELESS, adj.
    Having paid all taxes on household goods.
    -IDIOT, n.
    A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling. The Idiot’s activity is not confined to any special field of thought or action, but “pervades and regulates the whole.” He has the last word in everything; his decision is unappealable. He sets the fashions and opinion of taste, dictates the limitations of speech and circumscribes conduct with a dead-line.
    –IDLENESS, n.
    A model farm where the devil experiments with seeds of new sins and promotes the growth of staple vices.
    –IMPARTIAL, adj.
    Unable to perceive any promise of personal advantage from espousing either side of a controversy or adopting either of two conflicting opinions.
    –IMPIETY, n.
    Your irreverence toward my deity.
    –IMPUNITY, n.
    Wealth.
    –INADMISSIBLE, adj.
    Not competent to be considered. Said of certain kinds of testimony which juries are supposed to be unfit to be entrusted with, and which judges, therefore, rule out, even of proceedings before themselves alone. Hearsay evidence is inadmissible because the person quoted was unsworn and is not before the court for examination; yet most momentous actions, military, political, commercial and of every other kind, are daily undertaken on hearsay evidence. There is no religion in the world that has any other basis than hearsay evidence. Revelation is hearsay evidence; that the Scriptures are the word of God we have only the testimony of men long dead whose identity is not clearly established and who are not known to have been sworn in any sense. Under the rules of evidence as they now exist in this country, no single assertion in the Bible has in its support any evidence admissible in a court of law.
    It cannot be proved that the battle of Blenheim ever was fought, that there was such as person as Julius Caesar, such an empire as Assyria.
    But as records of courts of justice are admissible, it can easily be proved that powerful and malevolent magicians once existed and were a scourge to mankind. The evidence (including confession) upon which certain women were convicted of witchcraft and executed was without a flaw; it is still unimpeachable. The judges’ decisions based on it were sound in logic and in law. Nothing in any existing court was ever more thoroughly proved than the charges of witchcraft and sorcery for which so many suffered death. If there were no witches, human testimony and human reason are alike destitute of value.
    –PLEASE, v.
    To lay the foundation for a superstructure of imposition
    –PLEBISCITE, n.
    A popular vote to ascertain the will of the sovereign.
    –PLEONASM, n.
    An army of words escorting a corporal of thought.
    –POLITENESS, n.
    The most acceptable hypocrisy.
    –POSITIVISM, n.
    A philosophy that denies our knowledge of the Real and affirms our ignorance of the Apparent. Its longest exponent is Comte, its broadest Mill and its thickest Spencer.
    –PREJUDICE, n.
    A vagrant opinion without visible means of support.
    –REFERENDUM, n.
    A law for submission of proposed legislation to a popular vote to learn the nonsensus of public opinion.
    –REFLECTION, n.
    An action of the mind whereby we obtain a clearer view of our relation to the things of yesterday and are able to avoid the perils that we shall not again encounter.
    (history is a reflection on retrospection, we need to try to understand that fable to see where we are now, and reflect on the issues of the present.)
    –REPUBLIC, n.
    A nation in which, the thing governing and the thing governed being the same, there is only a permitted authority to enforce an optional obedience. In a republic, the foundation of public order is the ever lessening habit of submission inherited from ancestors who, being truly governed, submitted because they had to. There are as many kinds of republics as there are graduations between the despotism whence they came and the anarchy whither they lead.
    —RESIDENT, adj.
    Unable to leave.
    –PRICE, n.
    Value, plus a reasonable sum for the wear and tear of conscience in demanding it.