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Aphorisms, Apophthegms, Epigrams and Maxims.

September 22, 2010

I thought is would be a good idea to have a place where I can post short statements that I like. Unless another authors name appears alongside  a quote all the sayings are by Trenz Pruca.

On the Meaning of Words:

Whitehead and Russell taught us that words have no meaning unless backed by mathematics. In other words, it is all blah, blah, blah unless it has numbers. Goedel then taught us that mathematics is based on unprovable assumptions. In other words, blah is still blah.

On Economics:

In Science. a physical theory that is logically consistent  may be considered truth only until falsified. In Economics,  a sociological theory that is logically inconsistent is often considered true even when falsified.

Economics is a philosophy for supplying parasites with an operating system that provides the most efficient means of devouring its host.

On the Role of Civil Society:

Why would anyone be morally bound or wish to be morally bound to a civil society that does not share the goal that it’s citizens deserve a fair distribution of wealth, income and power? If the civil society is not dedicated to that end what else could it possibly be dedicated to? What is freedom, to those without wealth, income or power?

On Supply and Demand:

There is no such things and supply and demand because they are both infinitely manipulatable.

Wherever you have supply meeting a demand you will have someone trying to make a profit by making it not so.

On Competition:

The last thing anyone enters a competition for is competition.

Competition in a 100 yard dash lasts about 10 seconds. Competition in the market lasts about the same length of time before someone tries to game it.

Only a fool enters a race to compete, everyone else enters to win.

On Markets:

There is no such thing as a free market. There is always a transaction cost.

Those who manage the transactions ultimately make all the money.

A market is something that one goes into to buy groceries and usually has a prefix affixed to it like “super”. Everything else is a casino.

On Ponzi and other Schemes:

All fortunes are based on Ponzi schemes.

Global Finance is a Ponzi Scheme.

All Ponzi schemes are based on gullibility and government is usually the most gullible of all.

On Outsourcing Governmental Services:

The outsourcing of governmental services is the road to tyranny.

The outsourcing of governmental services is theft of public property.

On Scoundrels:

The last refuge of scoundrels is not patriotism but the claim that no one could see it coming.

Most wealthy individuals are scoundrels, only very few admit it and they usually are already in jail.

On Corporations:

The only country that  a corporation has allegiance to is its own management.

A corporation cannot be considered a citizen, it cannot serve in the military for less than minimum wage.

Corporations were created to carry out specific goals of the state. Now the state appears to exist to carry out the specific goals of the corporations.

Corporations would not exist if their investors had to assume the same economic risks as any other individual in a free society.

On Free Enterprise:

The goal of every business enterprise is not to maximize profit but to separate risk from reward.

The most important goal for any democratic government should be to avoid removing risk from enterprise. Yet it currently appears that the only function of government is to shield enterprise from risk.

On Patriotism:

He who makes a profit from war or the things of war can never be considered a patriot.

We should also remember that in democratic Athens, the oligarchs were fully prepared to betray democracy and their country to their enemies in order to install an autocratic government run by them. Oligarchs have no country other than the one that best protects their wealth and political power. You can wave the flag all you want, but if you move your wealth to another country simply to avoid taxes, you’re no patriot.

On Men:

For at least 10,000 years or so virtually every political system, economic system and religion has been designed by men for men. There is no natural or divine law that requires any of these structures to be designed in the way that they have been. During those same 10,000 years every justification of those structures have been developed by men to benefit men.

Speech to a man is not an invitation to a dialog as it is with women but the declaration, in a simple laconic statement, of their world view at the moment as uncontested fact — even if no one else either agrees or has any idea what he is talking about.

On Republicans

You must be a republican if you believe that:

Public schools are an unnecessary government expense but prisons are not.

A minimum wage is a governmental intrusion in the private market but the oil depletion allowance for corporations to drill for oil off our coast is not.

Warrantless wiretapping of american citizens is constitutional, but a women’s right to choose is not.

Races exist but racism does not.

Torture is necessary for the defense of American freedom but the freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures is not.

Providing affordable healthcare for children and all Americans is a governmental interference with the private market but subsidies to defense contractors are not.

Environmental regulation diminishes our freedom, but racial profiling does not.

The earned income tax credit that rewards the lowest wage earners in the nation is an unwarranted redistribution of income, but lowering the capital gains credit on unearned investment income is not.

The illegal alien who risked everything to better himself economically by coming to america is a criminal, but the bankers and investors on wall street that gambled away your pension funds and put your jobs at risk are not.

That your ancestors who arrived in America before exclusionary immigration laws were passed were welcome contributors to the American nation, but those arriving after those laws were passed are not.

The Constitution of the United States created a Christian Nation but the First Amendment was a mistake.

God wrote Leviticus but Jesus did not preach the Sermon on the Mount.

The Second Amendment is the most important right in the Bill of Rights, but that the First Amendment is a mistake.

Bullies are manly but peacemakers are not.

Commentators like Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and Glen Beck are intelligent observers of American life and that…everyone else is wrong.

On Governmental Priorities:

It is interesting to note how much easier it is today for a government to abandon its promises to its people but not to its creditors.

As with most fundamental freedoms, preventing those who wish to abridge the fundamental rights of others is a more important role of government than encouraging the exercise of those rights. Exercising our rights are our individual jobs, protecting us from those who would abridge are rights is the duty we collectively give to government. If government is not the guarantor of Freedom then it is a tyranny.

On Conservatives:

Conservatives are irony deficient.

Did you ever wonder why ownership of oil production by the Saudi government is not considered socialism by most conservatives but in Venezuela’s case it is?

Why don’t Libertarians and conservatives call for abolishment of the most fundamental intrusion of government into the so-called free market, the limitation from financial risk represented by the corporate form?

On too big to Fail:

If it is too big to fail, it is too big to manage.

On the Republican Party’s political playbook:

Nothing is so inconsequential that it cannot be used by the Republican Party as an opportunity to hold the nation at ransom in an effort to bring down the opposition party.

On Populism:

Historically, Populism like most mass movements scours up both the worst and the best in a society as it scrapes across its depths. Prompted by a deep mistrust of a community’s most powerful individuals and institutions,  its adherents believe those individuals and institutions have misused and mishandled the trust they had been granted by society; violated the social contract if you will. As the indefatigable realist Machiavelli pointed out, on the broad areas of public policy the general populace is almost always more reliable than the élite.

On achieving Political Power:

Those who seek to possess or preserve wealth or power through the political process can rarely gain it in a democratic society unless it can ally itself with the fears and hates of those in the majority whose economic and social position is more tenuous than theirs.

On the meaning of it all:

It is not he who dies with the most toys wins, it is he who dies with the most stories.

“Just because an outcome is determined does not necessarily make it predictable.

The motion system of three or more stars acting on each other gravitationally is generically chaotic. Similarly no activity affected by the behavior of three or more human beings is predictable in the long term. On the other hand in the long term we all end up dead. But, not before someone does something so unpredictable it makes it all almost worthwhile.”

Destiny never gets there before you do. So, there’s no need to rush.


1. Consciousness is nothing more than post hoc rationalization.

2. Humans are not rational animals, but rationalizing ones.

3. Consciousness is what one tells oneself to keep away the darkness.

4. If someone describes something he sees as it manifests itself, he is called a “scientist.”

If one can never know how it manifests itself it is called a “religion.”

If one does not care whether or not it manifest itself he is called a “politician.”

If one persuades someone else to buy what is manifested it is called “business.”

If one persuades someone else to buy what cannot be manifested, it is called “finance.”

If one does not care if someone else buys what may or may not be manifest as long as that someone buys whatever it is he is saying, he is called an “economist.”

5. Lying to oneself is necessary for survival. If not, how would anyone make it through puberty? The ability to lie to oneself is natures compensation to those she has cursed with consciousness.

6. Those periods in history when government disappears in favor of private organizations are usually called, ‘Dark Ages.

On current Crises::

“Crises like climate change, food sufficiency and water availability probably cannot be resolved if human population continues to increase. Hydrocarbon emissions, food consumption and water use are not increasing on a per capita basis anywhere near rate of growth in the total use of those resources. The direct approach to dealing with population growth has been to provide greater access to birth control. This is a good thing and should be continued. Still despite decades of trying, the growth of human population continues out of control. The only successful population control other than war, famine and plague has been the liberation and education of women. Wherever women are free and informed rates of population growth decline.”

On Boredom

Boredom is not the same as depression. True, they both produce brain-freeze — a state in which people so inflicted usually ignore those things that could relieve their predicament. In both states, one can stare aimlessly at nothing for a long time, but the bored are not particularly unhappy — annoyed probably, but not unhappy. Alas, we have pills for depression, but not for boredom

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Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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