"If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas."

- Charles F Brannan

"An escalator can never break. It can only become stairs."

- Mitch Hedberg

"Every person takes the limits of their own field of vision for the limits of the world."

- Arthur Schopenhauer

"Nobody holds a good opinion of a man who has a low opinion of himself."

- Anthony Trollope

"Obedience simulates subordination as fear of the police simulates honesty."

- George Bernard Shaw

"Change only the name, and this story is about you."

- Virgil

"Fundamentalists can run with anything, and make it serve their purposes."

- Bart Ehrman

"I took a lie detector test. No I didn't."

- Steven Wright

"The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave."

- Robert Ingersoll

"They muddy the water, to make it seem deep."

- Friedrich Nietzsche


I am now 43 years old.

That's about 300 in gay years.

And I think I made the same joke when I turned 42.

So, things I have learned so far this year:
  • Throwing away those boxes of things you've been keeping because they remind you of your childhood...isn't so difficult, and doesn't impair your ability to be nostalgic without them.

  • Mormons are polite, but Jehovah's Witnesses are friendly. Jehovah's Witnesses read the bible, but Mormons study it.

  • 25 years after screeching at me that I couldn't possibly be gay because she was too good a person to spawn a gay son, my mother has found the courage to say homophobia is dumb. At least when insane American preachers do it.

  • Fanatics thrive on being hated, but wither under contempt. Contempt is the opposite of deference.

  • It's possible to eat and enjoy vast quantities of healthy vegetables...if you don't mind being hungry again an hour later.

  • I like getting drunk. I just don't like being drunk.

  • That seven-speed prostate-stimulating vibrator that I got mainly because my mostly-straight friend-with-benefits has discovered he likes anal play. It's great fun.

  • If you wait for special occasions to do special things, you'll never do them.

  • Those classic movies that I kept meaning to watch because I had a vague feeling that they'd be good for me but not actually enjoyable. They're actually enjoyable.

"When promiscuity is the fashion, the chaste are outsiders."

- CS Lewis

"Buy one soul, get one free."

- Northern Kind

"People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing."

- Dale Carnegie

"History is a tragedy, not a melodrama."

- Christopher Hitchens

"Intolerance of ambiguity is the mark of an authoritarian personality."

- Theodor Adorno

"How eager they are to be slaves."

- Tyberius

"Whether the gods are inside or outside makes very little difference to whether there are gods."

- Jordan Peterson

"Information means distinctions between things"

- Laurence Suskind

"In depression, you lose the appetite for the hunt as well as for the feast."

- Harold Koplewicz

"Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength."

- Eric Hoffer

Doctor Philia

What you think you want, what you think you ought to want, what you pretend to want, what you pretend to yourself you want, what you've been told you wantWhat you actually want
What you think you enjoy, what you think you ought to enjoy, what you pretend to enjoy, what you used to enjoy, what you've been told everyone enjoysWhat you actually enjoy

The secret to happiness: Figure out which things go in which box.

You want a relationship, then find you don't like it. You didn't want to go to that party, but you did like it. You want sex, but you wish you didn't. You want to get an education, but you don't want to study. You think you've been told you're a good and well-adjusted person if you love human company, but really you've just been told you must socialise.

Yes, it's complicated, but start small. Ask yourself what you do because you think you enjoy it, and then observe whether you really do.

No, I'm nowhere near finished sorting it all out for myself.

Promises, Promises

Some studies have shown that making a promise reduces the willpower to keep it. Much like talking about your idea for a story makes it more difficult to start writing. That said, here's my New Year's Resolutions List of Things I Want to Do Or Do Better Starting At The Arbitrary Point Of The First Day Of Next Year (Namely Tomorrow As I'm Writing This).

  • Learn Python. In an earlier life, I knew a few programming languages - Pascal, Ada, BASIC, Cobol, and bits and pieces of C++, Z80 and 68000 code. Then around 1995 I realised I was more interested in philsophy and linguistics than SQL (Structured Query Language), JSP (Jackson Structured Programming), ISO (International Standards Organisation) and other TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms).

    More than that, working with computers to solve problems was interesting, but working with computers to make a rich idiot richer was not. So I dropped out of Computer Science (which is not a science and isn't really about computers) and got some degrees in Cultural Theory (which isn't a theory and doesn't say much about culture). And I forgot how to program.

    Now though, knowing a programming language would be rather useful. Something stripped-down but powerful. Something easy to program and debug. And if possible, something named after a British Television comedy troupe.

  • Do an Album. The one I've spent the last year assembling a studio for, but have always found a way to avoid starting - usually by assembling a bit more studio.

    They say preparation is everything...but not when everything is preparation.

  • Do Some Writing. The stuff I've spent the last year having ideas for, but never quite got around to starting etc. etc.

  • Do Some Reading. That stuff...yeah.

  • Eat A Bit Better. I've recently discovered that it's exactly as easy to eat absurdly large amounts of healthy vegetables as it is to eat absurdly large amounts of fried chicken or chocolate biscuits. This is probably a step in the right direction.

  • Other Things. Explore another country, find a job I don't hate, find a way to tolerate how much more of an arsehole my father is becoming in his old age, get on with at least one of those youtube projects I've been putting off, stop pretending to not like Lady Gaga...and possibly develop enough of a life to have something to blog about.