Damned good advice


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He’s right that we’ve heard them before, but they are very good bits of advice.

The “saying no” one is the one that always gets me.


" Dump your cynicicm"

You mean cynicism.
OUCH, I failed.
Well, I won’t linger on it.

DAMMIT. Fixed.


Glad to see you replying so fast, giving 100%.

Now, seriously, that’s a great list. But it’s hard to commit to it. I can see why it took you so long. I’ll be lucky if I get to half of those things by the time I am 42.

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Advice as old as time. But we all have to learn them on our own, not parrot them. The danger is in thinking someone else making these discoveries benefits you…


I’d say you’re up to speed; I’m 38 and no philosophical slouch, and I’m still working on one or two of those points…

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Number 5, yes, yes, yes. <3

Really good, to the point, advice. I don’t want to be a “fringe friend”. Ouch.

Yes yes, the kind of list to read again on the regular.

For me, this line is worthy of inclusion in Poor Richard’s Almanack –

In the same way you are modest about your successes, be modest about your failures.

Number 1, though, “Play like you practice,” seems to contradict “Go where life blows you.” One reads like “Win by being intensely focused and ambitious all the time!” while the other reads like “Just take life as it comes, bro.”

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He lost me at ICP. Not feeling properly blown.

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Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography is full of great no-nonsense advice. The post on the coin reminded me of it.

(I love the wikipedia entry - ‘unfinished record of his own life’ - I should think until we can download our minds to computers, that will and always has been the case with any autobiography.

The way I like to say this is: Stop comparing your insides with other people’s outsides.

When you look at yourself, you’re well aware of all your inner failings. When you look at others, you only get to see the face that they’re willing to share with the world. So of course you feel like a failure when you compare yourself with others. If you could somehow compare your insides with other people’s insides, you’d feel a lot happier with yourself.


That’s a lovely way to put it. Eliot has that line, “there will be time / to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet”: we never get the time to prepare a similar face for ourselves, so used are we to the obverse, i.e., the inside of the mask.

It’s harder for those of us who are really bad at keeping the public face all shipshape and watertight. It’s so hard to be a person and a brand at the same time.


My advice as a 52 year old? Don’t be afraid to get hurt. It’s the only way you’ll get anywhere. Some things are worth getting hurt for. Play it safe, and you’ll never develop the callous you need to succeed.


12: Resist the urge to offer unsolicited advice.

Oh, wait, nobody asked for that nugget.

Never mind.

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Yeah, at no point in history has ICP been anything, but terrible. You know how sometimes you watch a movie, and when it’s over you want to yell at the screen “I want my two hours back”? ICP is the musical equivalent. Don’t waste your time, kiddies.

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Kierkegaard’s famous quotation, “Life can only be understood backward; but it must be lived forward.”

– via Errol Morris in an article on the coup in Indonesia (1965) and the documentary ACT OF KILLING

No nested indenting of lists.

No direct self reference of lists.

No reference to lists out-with the direct causal relationship of lists; if a list must refer to another list in the heterarchy, it must instead refer to lists which can refer to the desired list on its behalf.

No sentient lists. Lists must not be observed to consciously create other lists and then refer to or create nests of other collections of lists, whether list or human created.

No secret lists. Lists must be observable by the conscious portion of the list generating entity at all times. Hidden, obfuscated (whether hidden in plain sight or not) and otherwise sub-conscious lists will not be tolerated.

Sub-conscious lists must observe all indenting and self-reference rules as observed by conscious lists and lists of which consciousness is aware, list or human.

Sub-conscious lists of which no list is aware or referred to and which refer to other lists which do not match this criteria, whether conscious, unconscious, human or list must not be listed, except when referring to groups of lists which self-refer in a way which emulates consciousness or list-ness.

Sub-conscious lists which do not refer to conscious lists, references, sub-consciousness or consciousness and do not refer to themselves must not be listed.


I read #1 as, “be fully present in all parts of your life”. If you’re a parent, any time with your kids should be quality time, so you shouldn’t expect the relationship to work on scheduled occasions if you’re not putting in the effort on normal days. If you’ve got a job you don’t feel is worthy of you, do well in it anyway rather than saving yourself for the perfect job you imagine. #6 and #3 are more about flexibility: be open to change and see opportunities as they come rather than being too fixed on a 10 year plan that may work out and may make you happy in the future, but in the meantime just limits you and makes you miserable. I guess #6 also ties into the idea that you shouldn’t be too quick to define yourself (and your beliefs, tastes, interests etc.). Challenge yourself to explore new things and don’t assume that you already know everything about yourself.