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Month: June 2012

Quotes 1º Semester of 2012

Quotes 1º Semester of 2012

“The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.” – Pascal

“There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.” – Alain de Botton

“The education revolution will not come from the education environment. It won’t come from teachers, academics and the government, same as the revolution in the music industry didn’t come from record labels or musicians but from computer scientists and programmers.” – Carlos Miceli

“Civilization is in a race between education and catastrophe.” – H. G. Wells

“Age is a sickness, and youth is an ambush.” – John Donne

“The object of universities is not to make skillful lawyers, physicians or engineers. It is to make capable and cultivated human beings.” – John Stuart Mill

“For all the large-scale political solutions which have been proposed to salve ethnic conflict, there are few more effective ways to promote tolerance between suspicious neighbours than to force them to eat supper together.” – Alain de Botton

“It never seems to occur to the teacher who complains of inattentive students that he may not be worth attending to.” – Aaron Haspel

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” – Henry Ford

“Domineering families want everything to be back in OK, they can’t deal with kids being separate persons with vulnerabilities. They are apt to being very distorted and unrealistic with their kids.” – Dr. Drew

“Institutionalizing leadership made us all want to be the Nº 1 when in fact, there are many Nº 1s. True organizational leadership fluctuates.” – Carlos Miceli

“Do your work for six years; but in the seventh, go into solitude or among strangers, so that the memory of your friends does not hinder you from being what you have become.” – Leó Szilard

“One reason we struggle with insecurity: we’re comparing our behind the scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel.” – Steven Furtick

“Women are made to be loved, not understood.” – Oscar Wilde

“A bunch of opinions is the death of all art.” – Adam Carolla

“Be ashamed to die, until you have scored some victory for humanity.” – Horace Mann

“Know the great men of your age.” – Baltasar Gracian

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” – Sherlock Holmes

“If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between for or against is the mind’s worst disease.” – Seng-ts’an

“Your impact in the world is defined by how you negotiate between what you want vs. what the world needs.” – Carlos Miceli

“All mountains are in a state of continuous collapse.” – Laurence Gonzales

“Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“Outrage indicates how outraged individuals want the world to be; evidence tells everyone how the world is.” – Tauriq Moosa

“Sometimes the only thing left is to know that it’s okay to be uncomfortable.” – Wendy Braitman

“The winner is the one who makes the next-to-last mistake.” – Ksawery Tartakower

“When reading, you win if you learn, not if you convince yourself that you know something the author does not know.” – Reg Braithwaite

“If you want to know how decent people can support evil, find a mirror.” – Mencius Moldbug

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” – Rumi

“A crisis is just the end of an illusion”. – Gerald Weinberg

“It is the tragedy of the world that no one knows what he doesn’t know – and the less a man knows, the more sure he is that he knows everything.” – Joyce Cary

“Luck is opportunity plus preparation plus luck.” – Jane Espenson

“Basing your friendships on what people have to offer vs. what you want from them, can make them closer than they’ve ever been.” – Carolyn Hax

“There is love of course. And then there’s life, its enemy.” – Jean Anouilh

“The sad and ever-present feeling that comes with being in love: this person will leave my life someday… And yet, love is worth it.” – Carlos Miceli

“All power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The more I’ve learned, the less I believe it. Power doesn’t always corrupt. What power always does is reveal. When a guy gets into a position where he doesn’t have to worry anymore, then you see what he wanted to do all along.” – Robert Caro

“It seems to me a fundamental dishonesty, a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity, to hold a belief because you think it’s useful and not because you think it’s true.” – Bertrand Russell

“The more I talk to people, the more I’m convinced that acceptance of complexity is the number one trait of wisdom and maturity.” – Carlos Miceli

“Once we accept that our shortcomings do not negate our merits, we can compartmentalize criticism & not let it overwhelm us.” – Dr. Goulston

“In any family or institution a perpetual concern for consensus leverages power to the extremists.” – Edwin H. Friedman

“To see ourselves as others see us! It would from many a blunder free us.” – Robert Burns

“Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries, and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries.” – Blaise Pascal

“Never interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“Songs can be Trojan horses, taking charged ideas and sneaking past the ego’s defenses and into the open mind.” – John Mayer

“A soldier should always seek the most desperate post that has to be filled.” – William Ransom Johnson Pegram

“An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.” – H.L. Mencken

“If some persons died, and others did not die, death would indeed be a terrible affliction.” – Jean de la Bruyère

“Love? I make it often, but I never talk about it.” – Marcel Proust

“If you are a leader, expect sabotage.” – Edwin H. Friedman

“There is no better way of coming to be aware of what one feels oneself than by trying to recreate what a master has felt.” – Marcel Proust

“It’s the people that realize, “I don’t know anything at all,” that end up doing pretty well.” – Tyler Cowen

“Learn to love getting money. Don’t love money.” – Sebastian Marshall

“There’s nothing that can help you understand your beliefs more than trying to explain them to an inquisitive child.” – Frank A. Clark

“The opposite of play isn’t work. It’s depression. To play is to act out and be willful, exultant and committed as if one is assured of one’s prospects.” – Brian Sulton-Smith

“Basically, I no longer work for anything but the sensation I have while working.” – Albert Giacometti

“Everything I’m saying is obvious, but you’d be surprised what the utility of obvious things is.” – Stephen Boyd

“I can think of nothing less pleasurable than a life devoted to pleasure.” – John Rockefeller

“People with intelligence will use it to fashion things both true and false, and will try to push through whatever they want with clever reasoning. This is injury from intelligence. Nothing you do will have effect if you do not use truth.” – Hagakure

“Persuade thyself that imperfection and inconvenience are the natural lot of mortals, and there will be no room for discontent, neither for despair.” – Tokugawa Ieyasu

“Out-compete by out-serving.” – Sebastian Marshall

“Virtues are the fruit of self-discipline and do not drop from heaven of themselves as does rain or snow.” – Zengetsu

“The whole art of living is to make use of the individuals through whom we suffer.” – Marcel Proust

“To many people holidays are not voyages of discovery, but a ritual of reassurance.” – Philip Adams



These are a set of philosophies that I (try to) follow to live my life. I wrote this page for the selfish purpose of externalizing my definitions of said philosophies, but I thought they did better being published instead of staying hidden in some lost folder of my computer. This list will be in permanent beta: there will never be a definite version.

These understandings of my life and the world are the result of my personal experiences, and as such, they are bound to change as I grow. Let me clarify that they may not be suitable for you. However, I invite you to read them. Hopefully, they will provide a new insight or perspective for you to consider for your own life.

On past opinions and mistakes

“The only thing I regret about my past is the length of it. If I had to live my life again, I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner.” – Tallulah Bankhead

Everything that I’ve done or said in the past, I acknowledge. My mistakes don’t evoke pride nor fear. They are just decisions to learn from.

A good example of this is my previous blog, OwlSparks. When I was doing the transition of written content to this site, I realized that I didn’t agree with 80-90% of what I said, or the way I said it. Instead of rejecting it, I’ve found more valuable to look back and try to understand why I had those opinions or manners. I’ve found that honest retrospection is more fruitful than dismissal.

From high-school embarrassments, to years of unfulfilling work or relationships, I see my past as my best teacher. Even if sometimes, still, I fail to listen.

On quality and quantity

“It is quality rather than quantity that matters.” – Seneca

I strive for my best, although not for perfection. The latter is unreachable, but the former is not. While sometimes I do err on the slow side of creation, I rarely create something I’m not confident it was made with my best efforts.

I admit that I do wish more people would follow this rule. If there’s one common trait in the people I look up to, is an economy of words, products or ideas. The waiting may be painful, but they rarely fail to deliver something that expresses dedication. These people I try to emulate.

On the contrary, the discomfort I have every time I think someone could have worked harder (which is, sadly, many times more common), is something I try with my utmost devotion to avoid others.

On prompting and judging others

“So much bitterness would be removed if one trusted that people behave as they do not from spite or evil, but because they have no choice.” – Alain de Botton

I believe everyone does the best they can. Everyone does what they know. If people act in improper ways is not because of a flaw in their spirit, but due to lack of information and clarity of incentives. That is why I try hard not to judge others, or tell them what to do. I understand that everyone sees a different piece of the puzzle. Any sort of hierarchy of messages is the wrong approach to inspire improvement.

The only philosophy that I let myself suggest others is to encourage self-exploration. I believe that the best prompt one can put out there is “get to know yourself.” This is a long, hard, fulfilling process that I believe leads to a life of moral excellence. This is the best spark I can provide to ignite improvement in others, without asserting my own hierarchy of values.

On misrelating

“Apathy on the individual level translates into insanity at the mass level.” – Douglas Hofstadter

I believe misrelating, that is, the misunderstanding of other’s values, backgrounds and ideas, is the biggest problem in the world. Misrelating is the one ubiquitous element in every conflict of humanity. Therefore, I strive to put myself in other people’s shoes constantly, to refrain judgement and achieve real communication. This is the only way to see every conflict of interests end positively for humanity

This is the key reason to travel, the one lesson every traveler should come home with (though few do): to relate to different sets of values and ideologies, to see the similarities between people everywhere, and to bring differences together. It’s my mission in life to help people understand each other, and I must play this role in the most effective way the universe allows me.

As Mark Twain once said: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”

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