Some of the most memorable turns of phrase are aphorisms. Ben Franklin had many:
A penny saved is a penny earned.
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
A good aphorism is a tool that help people make sense of the world in simple and easy to remember ways.
Enter Nassim Taleb: former financial trader, author, philosopher, and now, aphorist. Nassim is on Twitter exclusively writing aphorisms. Many of his aphorisms concern paleo. I’ve included a selection below. Have a look, and vote on your favorite in the comments.
Technology’s double punishment is to make us both age prematurely and live longer.
Deficits are similar to carbs: the more you eat, the hungrier you get.
You have a real life when most of what you fear has the titillating prospect of adventure.
The only objective definition of aging is when a person starts to discuss aging.
Social media are antisocial, health foods are empirically unhealthy, knowledge workers are ignorant, & social sciences aren’t scientific
If you know, in the morning, what your day looks like with any precision, you are a little bit dead -the more precision, the more dead.
Technology is the unrelenting mollification of man, that self-inflicted injury…
The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.
In nature we never repeat the same motion. In captivity (office, gym, commute, sports), life is just repetitive stress injury. No randomness
Before checking the news today, check how much the 400-700 hours of nongossip media exposure in 2007 helped you make sense of 2008, etc.
Atheism/materialism means treating the dead as if they were unborn. I won’t. By respecting the sacred you reinvent religion.
I wonder if a lion (or a cannibal) would pay a high premium for free-range humans.
Modernity: We created youth without heroism, age without wisdom, and life without grandeur.
And I’ll add one that I wrote:
Domestication is both the seed and the fruit of civilization.
Want to give it a try? As Nassim puts it, a good maxim should 1) surprise you, 2) be true, and 3) be symmetric (one assertion, one negation) or rhythmic.