Clarity in thinking 

“I do like clarity and exact thinking. And I do think that’s very important to mankind. Because when you allow yourself to think inexactly your prejudices, your bias, your self-interests, comes in ways you don’t notice and you do bad things without knowing you do them. Self-deception is very easy. So that I do think clear thinking is immensely important.” 

  • Bertrand Russell


There is actually a clip of Russell speaking these words which can be seen here.

What drives man?

All human activity is prompted by desire. There is a wholly fallacious theory advanced by some earnest moralists to the effect that it is possible to resist desire in the interests of duty and moral principle. I say this is fallacious, not because no man ever acts from a sense of duty, but because duty has no hold on him unless he desires to be dutiful. 

  • Bertrand Russell, as he accepted the Noble Prize in Literature (1950)

Bad behaviour 

Do not reward bad behaviour. 

Sometimes it is difficult to recognise bad behaviour. It can be presented to you as a call for pity or empathy. It can be disguised.

You can tell good from bad behaviour partly by the intentions of the person claiming victimhood, are they virtuous? 

Or are they hypocritical? Would they offer you their empathy in a similar situation or are they only in it for themselves? Maybe they just want to get one up on you? Use your empathy against you.

In any case, when you encounter bad behaviour:

Ignore it.

If you can not ignore it then condemn it. 

Style 

This post is part of a series which I call an ‘autobiographical book of ideas’. In more colloquial terms it means that I am writing and/or finding texts on all sorts of topics which I will compile at the end of the year to form somewhat of a book that represents my opinions and views at this point in my life. I hope you enjoy the journey 🙂

“Style is the answer to everything.” That’s how I wanted to start my blog today, but this also happens to be the first sentence of a famous poem by Charles Bukowski on style. And Bukowski really answers what style is, in my opinion.

Style – Charles Bukowski
Style is the answer to everything. A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous thing. 
To do a dull thing with style is preferable to doing a dangerous thing without it.

To do a dangerous thing with style is what I call art.

Bullfighting can be an art.

Boxing can be an art.

Loving can be an art.

Opening a can of sardines can be an art.

Not many have style, not many can keep style.

I have seen dogs with more style than men, although not many dogs have style.

Cats have it with abundance.

When Hemingway put his brains to the wall with a shotgun,
that was style.

Or sometimes people give you style.

Joan of Arc had style

John the Baptist

Christ 

Socrates

Caesar

García Lorca.

I have met men in jail with style.

I have met more men in jail with style than men out of jail.

Style is the difference, a way of doing, a way of being done.

Six herons standing quietly in a pool of water,

or you, naked, walking out of the bathroom without seeing me.