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. Leverage it to the utmost.
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.
If somebody claims to be on the all rationality trip, watch your back.
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 really 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 and stick to that. 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.
You will never get rich if you use your own money.
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."
Precision first. Brute force last.
Hope is a dangerously addictive and lethal drug.
When acting in bad faith, anything goes. Anything.
Never get emotionally invested in investing. It's only numbers.
Always keep a spare. Don't tell anyone about it, because that makes it a target.
There is nothing so obvious, so trivial, so utterly provable to anyone who spends five seconds looking that people will fight to the death over it.
Commenting on any even vaguely controversial thing, even second or third order effects of that thing, will always be treated as advocating for that thing or being a willing participant in it.
On the whole, shutting the fuck up is the most useful thing you can do in any sort of discourse.
People don't want their problems solved. Either they'll fix them on their own or they'll live with them but complain a lot.
Take your victories where you find them.
Those with the least functional moral compass make everything a moral issue. "Think of the children!" is a dogwhistle, not an admonition.
Never trust a consultant that drives a Ferrari.
A morbid sense of humor is still a sense of humor.
The more professional someone is, the worse an executor they are.
If you saw someone shoplifting food or medical supplies, you saw nothing. People don't shoplift those things unless they need them.
If it can be used to track, it will be used to track.
Pack for two days more than you think you'll need.
If someone's first response to a minor inconvenience is to go nuclear, get the hell away from them. They're trying to manipulate you into screwing yourself.
Justice is cash flow.
People having power over don't want other people having power to.
The truth can come from many places.
You don't win by playing by your enemy's rules.
If you dance with cobras and then change the tune, don't be surprised when you get bit.
If it can be abused, it will be abused. Count on it.
The easiest secrets to keep are the ones nobody will believe anyway.
Never underestimate how much people love and are motivated by power. They'll skip love, money, drugs, and even sex to gain power in any of its forms.
The system will always take action to preserve the system.
Deviation from the norm will be punished unless it is exploitable.