Laws of the Twenty-First Century

May 08 2019

We lie best when we lie to ourselves.  If you are skilled at lying to yourself, you are much better equipped to deceive others.

People want to be lied to, and will fight to be deceived.

Never go to the well three times.

Power will always be abused.

Beware people who are incapable of laughing at themselves.  They tend to enjoy making people suffer.

If something seems wrong, it probably is.

Overwhelming force never goes out of style.

Only warn them once. If they don't listen, it's not your problem anymore.

Expect no mercy or compassion from anyone. Show genuine gratitude if you actually receive any.  You could just as easily have gotten a knife in the ribs.

Plan for the worst case scenario.  Act as if you're walking into the best case scenario.  It's always easier to dial back your crisis plans than it is to come up with better ones on the fly.

Be happy you got anything at all.

If they aren't (non-consensually) hurting anybody, it's none of your business.

Make yourself useful.

Don't assume anybody cares.

People will always accuse you of what they do.

Keep your mouth shut.

Show loyalty, but do not expect it.

If you can't promise it, don't promise it.

Take any advantage you can get.

You think about you more than anyone else thinks about you.

We are not allowed to have nice things.  Don't get too attached.

When in doubt, assume cruelty is the reason until you find evidence to the contrary.

There is no such thing as "no risk."  There is "risk I can handle" and "risk I can't handle."

No expectations, no disappointments.

Never assume anyone you meet has a conscience.  That is a vastly dangerous assumption.

Never tell someone everything you're capable of.

Shared hatred is a far more effective means of getting rivals to cooperate than shared goals.

It's always more complex than you think.

Outraged people are exhausted people.  Exhausted people don't accomplish anything.

Reasons don't matter.  Results matter.

If you want to be absolutely, positively sure something is done right, do it yourself.

Refusal can prevent failure.

Not everybody wants to.  It doesn't matter what it is or how useful it could be, not everybody wants to.

The most hated are used to destroy the beloved.

Never expect people to do the right thing.  Most people will only do the convenient thing.

Lots of people say they want to do good.  Most people can't be bothered.

The greatest sin is an understanding of nuance.  The second greatest sin is looking at things from other people's points of view.

The more you learn, the less well you'll sleep.

Never mistake sociopathy for cognitive dissonance.

Maliciousness is its own reward for some people.

The cycles will always repeat themselves.

Never underestimate the capacity of people to say to themselves "It's not happening to me, so I can't be bothered to worry about it."

There are no rights.  There are no privileges.  There are only temporary kindnesses that can be revoked at any time.

People care more about the way they think things should be that exists in their heads than they do the way things are outside of their heads.

Don't expect any help.  You're on your own most of the time.

Some people really want to destroy themselves.  You can't stop them.

Being 'good' is the fastest way to fail.  Decide just how 'bad' you're willing to be to get what you want, and stick to that instead.  You may not win, but it's unlikely that you'll lose too.

If something is too useful, interesting, and/or helpful, it won't last.  Enjoy it while you can.  Don't get attached.

You will never get rich if you use your own money.  Invest like a cynic.

Nobody's actually looking.  If it's not close enough to land a punch, it won't get noticed.

Never assume good faith.  Assume bad faith, and look for evidence to the contrary.

Laws only matter if they are enforced.  "Anything is socially acceptable if you do it with enough confidence."