Aphorisms and Operational Definitions

God is the invention of people in trouble, having been in trouble, or about to be in trouble.

Jealousy is envious anger.

Dignity is having choices.

(Before I go further, let me explain. The bedrock of my character is sedimentary, the silt of concepts developed over the years of study, thinking, and teaching, and now coming out in what has been called “the universal phenomenon of reminiscence in later life” [from the summary of the research reported in the abstract I have placed in the articles section of this blog].

(So, continue with the concepts.)

Attention is selective response.

Concentratiuon is prolonged attention.

Reasoning is symbolic balancing of alternatives.

Science is a method of reasoning, empirically or experimentally.

Romance is art. Marriage is science.

Motivation is energized behavior.

Genius is nothing but monstrous energy. (To wit: The German empiricists.)

Thought fills the delay between stimulus and response.

Thought is that internal monologue that inhibits response.

Theory is a statement that attempts to account for all known facts in a field of inquiry.

[The theory of evolution is not a speculation.]

Perception is a response involving memory and sensation.

Character is what you do at home, alone, and in the dark.

Character is forged in the metallurgy of choice.

Eloquence is the marriage of heart and brain.

Presidential candidate #1: passion minus poise. #2: poise minus passion. Eloquence equals poise plus passion.

Culture is shared codes, a matrix of demographics and communication codes.

Political correctness is cultural astuteness. (PC is the attempt to show in public policy a sensitivity for culture.)

Art is the final tuft and essence of science.

Life is irritable matter.

Time is elastic.

Teaching is a process of diagnosis, awareness, experiences, critical feedback, testing.

Justice is due process.

Intelligent use requires prudence, circumspection, sensitivity, bibliotherapy.

Habit is response without awareness, the silent valet.

Learning is changing habits, substituting new for old.

Learning is painful; if an experience hurts, there is an opportunity to learn.

Conscience is the sense of an ideal self.

Law is an expression of social conscience.

Honesty is a method, not a trait, and can be avoided where a trait cannot.

Courage is enduring discomfort with fortitude.

Courage is a marker of maturity.

Maturity imagines the discomfort of others.

[Hemingway: “Courage is grace under pressure.”]

Ego disengagement means generosity, trust, self-criticism, rejection of self-interest.

Morality is that which has survival value.

Morality is acting as I would legislate for the whole world.

Capitalism, by its acquisitive nature, is a conservative philosophy.

Democracy is a liberal philosophy.

Democracy is discussion, and debate if discussion breaks down.

Alternatives to democracy are anarchy or dictatorship.

All organizations are hierarchical.

Hierarchical organizations cannot be democratic.

Democracy captured by an arisocratic “establishment” becomes a “system” that pays lip service to democracy.

Adaptability precludes adaptation, and vice versa.

Alternative forms of suicide are divorce, drugs, abandonment, infidelity, lying, cheating, alcohol, gluttony, and so on.

Listening is accurate paraphrase of what is being said.

Active listening is repeating what was said to the satisfaction of the speaker.

Demagoguery is saying what the people want to hear.

Arbitrariness is the wish and power of one ego over all the rest (and to be fought in all pursuits).

Death is mainly ego-obliteration. What others may retain of the departed ego is not the ego obliterated.

Frankness is the art of getting the truth across unmistakebly, without brutality.

One’s maturity and mental health is the extent to which intelligence rules passion, habit, and, yes, reason. Look out for the infantile personality

Probing questions, beyond the first two or three, take you down the path of the other person’s point of view to walk a mile in the other’s shoes. (The test for all journalists.)

Hindsight knows everything. Foresight knows nothing. Judgment is prudent. Prejudgment is reckless.

A journalist is a conduit.

The largest errors of our time: making immediate decisions without regard for long-term consequences.

The seven stages of life: inheritance; presence; competence; ascendance; eminence; impermanence; imminence. (But only in a democracy.)

Earth’s orbit is the Goldilocks orbit.

Silence is consent.

Published in: on February 16, 2007 at 2:32 pm  Comments (38)  

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