My Principles So Far

This is a distillation of my explorations into AdequateLife and GainedInSite, as well as general guidelines I live by.


There is philosophical truth, but the most meaningful truths veer into the religious, and most people circle around that degree of uncertainty.

Bitterness and conceit are the two most destructive forces on the planet.


While knowledge is power, wisdom comes from worthy purposes.

All perception begins with feelings, but good principles must guide them.

All perception is a biased, interwoven superset of stories. Facts are simply stories with plenty of references. Data is lobotomized stories heaped into ordered piles.

“Now” is all that exists. Tomorrow is a concept, and the past is a memory.

If the past hurts, thoroughly capture it.

Only compare yourself to yourself.

Find things to be grateful for, then focus solely on those.

Every created thing is messy at first, but is typically better than nothing. Instead of reinventing them, expand on them.

What you don’t know right now is more important than what you do.

What we consume shapes us.

When you don’t know something’s value, it probably has it.

Beyond the domain of the religious, nothing is truly permanent or unlimited.


Be as precise and brief as possible, and choose brevity over precision.

Never leave an idea alone, and constantly find ways to work with it.

Action is more critical than the image of the action.

Success requires focus, failure, accepting failure, learning from failure, and trying again.

Kindness and success always depend on small things, so the things that matter are always small things.

Fear shouldn’t deter us, but we shouldn’t take unnecessary risks.

Details define all results, and theory never captures them fully.

Well-done things are never unimportant.

Opportunities always exist where responsibility is neglected.

The only constant in life is change, so life requires lots of rework. This is inherently humbling.

The deepest meaning we can find comes from loving God, others, and ourselves, in that order. Most people would rather not hear it, so it’s not worth discussing much.

We only find meaning in something if we can find something we like about it, even if it’s that we no longer have to deal with it.

Beyond a very fine line, complexity is the enemy of utility.


Treat others like yourself, and treat yourself like others.

Stay honest, both with yourself and others.

All conflicts start in human minds, so the beginning of good conflict resolution involves self-awareness and reasonable expectations.

People are always more important than things. Other people are more significant than yourself until they disqualify themselves.

Everyone else knows things you don’t.

When you’re not sure what other people are thinking, bet on their goodness. It’s the moral high ground and provokes them to be their best selves.

Those who live by litigation die by litigation.

If it looks free, something else pays for it.


To make other people significant, trust them by asking them to do small favors for you.

The only healthy choices for conflicts are a hybrid of disagreement and avoidance.

Friends come and go, but they’re always worth the experience, and good ones are always worth maintaining.

Expecting injustice increases its chances. Good preparedness stops when behavior and expectations become unreasonable.

Children are simply highly inexperienced, highly curious, and fragile adults.

Don’t let people do things that cross your boundaries, and empower others to do the same.


Work on yourself before working on society.

Since feelings define understanding, we never feel the logistical reality of large-scale things.

Not everyone needs to hear all the news, since good things can be corrupted and bad things can be exploited.

All things require some form of faith or trust. The secret is knowing which things are trustworthy. Trusting nobody will only lead to desperate actions.

Reach out to organizations before condemning them, and only publicly criticize precise elements about them.

Everyone should be free to do everything they want, until it hurts others.

In a conflict between the elite and the unwashed masses, choose the unwashed.

People lie about something proportionate to how political it is.

The more money and power involved, the more risk-averse people become.

Live by fewer rules, more well-enforced.

About 3% of people destroy everything for everyone else, though it can become 10% if the culture permits it.

The faster a trend is adopted, the quicker it’s abused.

Since nothing is new under the sun, all creations are well-veiled plagiarism.