Surfacing wisdom

Make the first appear like the others

A word... so easy to write, so easy to say yet holding more than most can imagine. (Inspired by reading an amazing piece of research printed on a nearly free piece of paper... then a personal letter... then command line programs)

If you haven't find prior work it doesn't mean it doesn't exist, just that you didn't search enough, this aphorism included.

Look on one side, check the other, decide which one is more gorgeous, pull the camera out for a beautiful shot, tunnel. (Norway by train)

Not everything has a price but everything has a cost.

Thinking originally is rarely the result of own ones volition. (Irony might be that the only moment we think are forced moment of idleness, e.g. waiting for others. Consequence of expecting a discussion with a Buddhist monk.)

"I" is a routine of the distributed optimisation algorithm called "evolution". (Inspired by WithoutNotesMarch12#JeanStaune and before this the node level of Path:/pub/home/algoritmicepistemology_viz.svg.)

It is not because something does not exist
that someone might not act as if it did. (as a an introduction to ThereIsNoSelf)

Software is the new watch towers and lighthouses in our information ocean.

Cognitive tools are as good as they let you free to expand and efficient to synthesize to become new affordances. (thinking about greek philosophers oral tradition, also discussed with Raphael, after sharing my wiki which still requires, and will keep on requiring, factoring and perpetual synthesis. Compression remains fundamental, cf Juergen Schmidhuber's work.)

Life is the longest yet more exciting computation you will ever be.(Watching WithoutNotesSeptember11#UlamMemorialLectures and willing to be coherent with my Beliefs#B1)

We fight against each other
to learn together.(trying to share the interest of Go despite the confrontational aspect)

Code thyself. (following "I code, therefore I am." as the key to consciousness and #AGI ? #Homoiconicity #Homotopy #BrainTopology #sleeplessnight)

If economics is playing a game then politics is establishing its rules.

The confidence to consider one's hypothesis as such allows for the safest path in knowledge : learning.

I love politics as much as I hate politicians.

Life is the last form of yak-shaving.

No rational government should make itself entirely transparent yet no citizen should accept an any lack of transparency from his or her government. (even with zero-knowledge proof as it only shows that it does what it says and does not insure for coverage of its activities)

Uncertainty, the spice of life. Maybe wisdom is simply to learn to like it and just do the best you can. (having a nice day yet not knowing precisely how to lead my life)

To keep on enjoying art is a proof of wisdom, admitting that no matter your knowledge and maturity, you can still be surprised and your point of view can be challenged. (watching Immaterials: Light painting WiFi, YOUrban 2011 after rethinking about discussions on art and surprises)

The more I find ways to organize information, the more efficient the upcoming ways will have to be. (tweeted following the first draft of ExtendedLayeredModel as an extension of LayeredModel)

A prototype is an affordance, an epistemic tool to progress in a vision as needs are encountered, a way to leverage serendipity. (Inspired by the relationship feature scene during The Social Network.)

Life is the process of sustaining an information for energy trade.

The more you focus on passive waiting, the longer it feels.

If money surely gives happiness,
and if money is a symbol of power over others,
does power over others truly gives happiness?(Following reflections on self-mastery, coherence and a value system.)

The most efficient a system of rules is,
the harder it is to know when to break out of it.

Maybe the Internet is just our XXIst century mirror... (Following thoughts on AI, delegated cheap labor over Internet and transaction costs. See also Google Alerts - Fabien Benetou,, etc.)

I still have a hard time admitting "I" runs on a marginally different software and hardware equivalents daily...(tweeted 27/10/2010)

Maybe being "older" is not knowing more but rather being gradually more outdated yet feeling proud about it. (tweeted 26/10/2010)

Knowing what you are passionate about is a full time job, especially when you do not take care of it.

From ibid. to class B : public A {}; reference is the ancestor to inclusion which is the ancestor to class inheritance.(Humanity gradually stands on the shoulder of giants more and more efficiently. Eventually link even earlier to gene re-use!)

Stability in a changing world is only a luxury when it is not an affordance used to go further.

I dont believe in delegating my dreams to my kids, Ill first fix the world then have kids.

Mathematics of survival lead to the cost of re-ordering.(One should never lose a sorted set, including meta-sorting and this epistemic rule of sorting. Note that a workflow is also a sorting of actions, switching context is thus to be avoided as sorting might be partially lost. Sorting can also be seen as processes thus location and tools are also potential sorting not yet embodied. See Seedea:Seedea/SandIdeabox#arhs )

The usage of "should" depends on the user idealistic perspective, optionally on a rational model, rarely on reality.

Domination and subordination knows no national boundary, patriotism often is merely a tool to re-enforce that.

Art is what make you doubt the evolutionary process.

Nothing is self-evident except this sentence.

A un jour pres deux vies s'opposent : une vie heureuse et claire quand aujourd'hui prepare demain; une vie stressante et trouble quand demain prepare apres-demain.

Every single abstraction, existing or not, is physical.(Through at least the thinker having the though and the replication of the abstraction on non-thinking media.)

if you start by asking the wrong question getting the right answer won't matter

I spend the time to write things down like even though it's slower and "ugly" because dreams are not resistant enough to build upon and if you can't build upon, you can't increase complexity or combination.

if you precisely do what you are told you will precisely end up where that person want you to be.

where you were is not the point, where you're going now from what you've learned since is.

leverage always trumps capture

life is short, each day should be a prototype

A war always have at least one loser and at least one winner, even if he was not part of the belligerents. (Inspired by arm races that are fostered and even sustained by a 3rd party. A classical example being weapon sellers doing commerce with both parties involved.)

If you only know about existing strategy and you can not produce your own original strategy, then you do not understand it. (See my StrategyLessons and Seedea:Research/StrategicalEpistemology pages)

If you invent the pen, do not sell it as an object but rather your unique ability to make it valuable. (probably inspired from Information Rules and service vs. commodity)

A living organism is a self-executing piece of knowledge. (Inspired by The Big Bang Theory question in which Sheldon ask what should be saved first, mankind or knowledge. See also MyBeliefs, PhilosophicalDarwinism and Protocells)

The beauty of a present is not in the present itself but rather in the unique effort made creating it.

La notion de hasard est inherent a l'observateur, non l'objet de son etude.

Si vous n'avez pas eu une pensee plus importante que tous vos biens, c'est que vous n'avez jamais vraiment pense. (inspired by ParolesZen)

The idea that one can afford luxury and avoid being minimalist is probably the most dangerous yet widespread illusion.(See also Cognition#GoalFocusAttention)

You can describe your boat up to the finest technical detail, yet long for the infinite sea. (to introduce my comment to Nigel Collin's blog post)

Things may or may not be what they seem or seem not to be.(Inspired by Alice)

Being minimalist is a daily work on oneself in order to be free enough to progress.

Laziness often pays if you can afford to wait long enough.

The less you have, the less you waste, you have one life and one only.

Science is the art of explaining predictable noise.

Produced predictable noise is the most reliable signature (the perfect copy includes noise and defects / the imperfect copy is idealized by the model hold by the copyist, thought about FOSS illegal licensing and science in general)

The first brick of every wall starts in people mind who could instead think about the first brick of a bridge. (The first brick of every wall starts in people mind, forget it and start to think about the first brick of a bridge.)

There will always be somebody to find what you do awful and somebody else to find it genius so if you think it will help you, just do it.

Societies collapses as they dream too hard for reality to sustain their dreams. (but energy is no illusion)

Internet could provide humanity an infrastructure for introspection (as a network of human beings, probably also inspired by Behind the Mirror)

algorithms are tab completion for thoughts (later on heard a similar view in a dialog with Simondon)

You can forget everything as long as you have a sufficient understanding to recover it fast.

You think what you read. (Inspired by "You are what you eat" and reading control section of "L'Histoire du livre")

Your lifetime as an individual is not your lifetime as a society.

Un idealiste utilise comme matiere premiere des modeles realistes afin d'obtenir comme produits finis des ideaux de qualite.

L'art est un support au questionnement.

Life is an experiment
You just have to ask the right question.
(inspired by enaction)

The worst thing about winter celebrations is that we allow ourselves to be uber-pigs because during the whole year we were only "normal" consumerist pigs.

You can fight as much and as well as you want, or even better than that, you'll die anyway, it's just a question of time. (People who don't tell you so want to exploit you.)

The good think about doing bad things is that they force you to learn, quickly.

Attention is proportional to the expected impact on your survival.survival or homeostasis, your or your group survival

The vastness of your mind is not proportional to the square-feet area of your house.

Serendipity begs for the freedom to be lucky.on the way to the College de France, thinking that you had to allow yourself to have free time in order to let yourself be surprised.

I feel like a sculptor
it's as if the internet was the raw material
every time you program in it, you modify the raw block
changing its shape according to your vision
and code is your chisel

Consumer society : free to buy, not free to think.

One can not think in a vacuum (cf social situation but also information is physical)

Life is a continuum of changing self-executing code. (see Evo-Devo)

What's the point of having your own life if you can't make your own mistakes to learn from them?

Evolving is applying the strategy with the current best energy return on investment in order to invent and apply tomorrow's best strategy.

We have to admit imperfection before correcting it, ideals are not a solid basis to build anything upon, they are aims, not foundations.

un ideal s'effrite confronte a la realite

The human being flexible or malleable to the extreme is a curse and blessing : It is a blessing when you choose the environment to which you desire to adapt; it as curse when you let any environment shape you.

When you feel like feeling joining an activity during which somebody will command you to act freely, you might consider joining two... or none.

If quality of decision-making is recursive and repetitive, one better starts improving it immediately.

If you are not using the lever, you are probably part of it.

discovering is finding and explaining regular irregularities, innovating is leveraging those discoveries

one of the common mistake is to perpetually re-insure oneself in the mistaken belief that what is too fast or too small to be perceived matters less

a son is bounded to disappoint the hope of his father because of his perception of wasted harshly accumulated wisdom about his world, even what might be deprecated

learning = error removing stochastic process

you need to hire smarter people than you to sell to dumber people than you

Eduquer, c'est apprendre a apprendre a voir

The present is an integration of the past. (thus applicable to brain formation, EE, ...)

Practice and experiments are our only tools against what is theoretically impossible.

Having an explicit model does not imply is being more efficient than an implicit embodied one.

Women rationality stops where chocolate starts.

The more intelligence we put in the question, the less efforts the answer shall require.

The only adversary of learning is the fear of not being able to learn.

State of the art, either you make it or it shapes you without you knowing it.

If you vote while knowing your vote will have no consequence, you are being irrational and thus should not be allowed to vote.

Brushing the ego of a man is like caressing the skin of a woman, if you do it correctly you'll get whatever you want.

There is only one kind of present a parent shoud never refuse his children : tools to learn and explore.

A good present is to offer what the person want but doesn't know it yet.

An affirmation is not a fact, and this is a fact.

build yourself for who you want to be, not for the opinions of others.

c'est la qualite de la barbe qui fait l'hermite

you are just one task away from rest and one product away from happiness, embrace the rat race

learn algorithm/computer science because in addition to have interfaces (tools) to most domains (from science to art) it gives you the ability to manipulate code in a recursive fashion which seems to be one of the key component of evolution.

normal is a tool of alienation used by the dominant class

being a grown up is just a sophism, a fake argument to say that you are right when you are older but can not explain why

I think you have a brain and like all of us, you are still figuring out how to use it

it's risky to be curious but maybe it's even more risky not to be.

there is a next life, just not for you

There is only one true deadline and you won't be able to experience that one twice.

it's as simple as it seems hard when you don't try

The moment I think I get it and have a kind of grip on the situation, I discover I was only seeing the edges of the bowl drifting on a much larger ocean.

wasting yourself in the endless maze of irrelevancy, you won't be the first nor the last to end up there.

If you only try what you can do, you will never learn.

if you don't learn to fail, you don't learn to learn

A woman is 19y/o even when she's older.

there is no excuse to be rude whatever the degree of intellectual or social achievement = Honors and achievements are not permits for rudeness. =If you think you reached a degree of achievement that allow rudeness, you probably have to achieve a bit more.

when you think life is too precious to risk, you are too dead to worry

either you live on the bleeding edge, or you don't (live).

Having more power over others does not mean having more power over yourself.

Le voyage c'est la fuite du connu.

Decisions are overrated if you can access optimal algorithms.

One should not be afraid of death,
one should be afraid of not living.

We should always be tomorrow's barbarians.

Grades only matter when you don't know for sure
what you want to become.

Life is a funny and a serious game simultaneously
since your are the better and the bet.

The less you understand history,
the sooner you become part of it.
(Inspired by Charles de Montalembert's "Vous avez beau ne pas vous occuper de la politique, la politique s'occupe de vous tout de meme")

Lorsque philosopher devient un nom ou un qualificatif il perd tout son sens. Philosopher est un verbe d'action qui profite a celui qui l'emploi a la premiere personne du singulier comme du pluriel.

A competitive advantage is not how fast you can promise you can do something but how fast you can actually do this something.

A woman live for you to put magic in her eyes and a smile on her face.

The day you stop building castles in the sky made out of people's promises, you become very powerful
(I stopped building castles in the sky made out of people's promises, hopefully.)

Il est toujours beaucoup moins fatiguant de trouver des excuses pour ne pas faire quelquechose que de trouver les moyens de le realiser.

You are fooling yourself when you think today you don't leave traces for tomorrow because you think with today's mindset and technology

If you don't cry in front of the beauty of a masterpiece, experiencing the marvels of the process that lead to it, you are very unlikely to be able to make one yourself.

Im in love with creativity and her sister curiosity
but evolution is my muse...

Entrepreneurship :
Half of what people will tell you will be totally right;
Half of what people will tell you will be totally wrong;
Including this statement.

There is an unlimited number of limited people.

You are as powerful as your models are accurate

Education is the door to wisdom,
Diploma is the door to employment,
You do not have to open both,
You can educate yourself to leave some doors closed.

La sagesse est un choix.

C'est au prix d'affronter mes peurs que s'achete ma liberte...

Branding an idea with your name does not make it yours,
using it does. confirmed later on by The ability to turn ideas into products is just as important as research, says Amar Bhidé, Glaubinger Professor of Business at Columbia University, "La richesse consiste bien plus dans l’usage que dans la possession." Aristote and Innovators nonetheless innovate. And they innovate because the return to them from deploying their new idea is high, even if others get the benefit of the new idea as well by Lawrence Lessing, page 71 of FutureOfIdeas?

A good relationship is like a job,
you don't accept it and go along,
You build it yourself and keep on nurturing it.

If you did not find any competitor,
it does not mean you are alone,
it just means you did not search enough.

On ne dit pas non a quelque chose,
On dit oui a une meilleure alternative. (sounds like "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete" - Buckminster Fuller)


Those aphorisms are little exercises aiming for synthesis of ideas using beauty as a vector. The content should be fundamental and conveyed pleasantly.

  • Les aphorismes ne sont pas expliques car ceux-ci sont deja des pensees "realisees". Il convient donc a chacun, pour pouvoir profiter au mieux ce ceux-ci re reparcourir le chemin qui a peu y mener.

See also

Better presentation

  • textflows interactive view
  • making a booklet (potentially with Lulu with their Mini books and eBooks) with a growing fabia seed as a movie on turning pages ending up blossoming, as suggested by Paola
  • unique illustration like the frases ilustradas blog
  • opening quote "Le bon ouvrier a toujours le bon outil." by Gilbert Benetou followed by a short explanation on each aphorism being little cognitive tool itself
    • "Quand on demande a Michel Foucault ce qu'un livre est pour lui, il repond: c'est une boite a touils. Proust.... disait que son livre etait comme des lunettes: voyez si elles vous conviennent, si vous percevez grace a elles ce que vous n'auriez pas pu saisir autrement; sinon laissez mon livre" page 73 of Mille Plateaux also published in La Guerre des Idees and Literary philosophers
  • : Literature + Technology report, catalog, investigate, stimulate and debate the future of literature.

To do

  • for French aphorisms, provide an alternative English translation
  • use the metaphor of
    • essential oil extraction (using the faba bean)
    • aphorisms from experience
  • tweet aphorisms
    • with an appropriate tag and a link to the book page
  • alternative ways to present them
  • integrate "Un trésor de belles maximes est préférable à un amas de richesses." by Socrate
  • consider Aphorisms Galore submission and rating system
  • illustration
    • WebCollage: Exterminate All Rational Thought by Jamie Zawinski, 1999-2011
      • inspired by ThePaintingFool collage technique, cf Automated Collage Generation – With Intent (2010) and Automated Collage Generation – With More Intent (2011)
      • in particular with -dictionary dictionary-file option
  • clarify the motivation
    • e.g. the most condensed form of knowledge one has during his lifetime
      • and the difficulty to share it
      • could an AI benefit from it? Could it itself be a test of the quality of an AI? (cf thinking process in Paris years ago, discussed with Guerrique nearby La Sorbonne)
  • consider categories
    • e.g. year, topic, ...
  • translation in English of the few french aphorisms while keeping the french available