Sep 242010

Benjamin Franklin’s Goals of Virtue


– Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.


– Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.


– Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.


– Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.


– Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; that is, waste nothing.


– Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.


– Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly; speak accordingly.


– Wrong none by doing injuries; or omitting the benefits that are your duty.


– Avoid extremes; forebear resenting injuries so much as you think deserve.


– Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.


– Be not disturbed at trifles or at accidents common or unavoidable.


– Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.


Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Sep 202010

Accurate Thinking

“There are people who think in a way which I would simply call “accurate” thinking. They are people with persistent, highly controlled intellectual habits. These people can be recognized by four characteristics:

1. They remain inexorably silent if they have nothing to say which is at least formulated in such a way that it could be tested.

2. They only make assertions about something when whatever this may be will stand up to a possible subsequent test; with the reservation, however, that some time in the distant future something could be discovered that might lead to a revaluation of their statement.

3. They distinguish precisely in what they say between that which they can prove and that which they cannot prove.

4. They object relentlessly to something being said in such a way that it cannot be tested, or if it can be tested it will not stand up to a rigorous repeat-test.”

Heinrich Scholz; mathematician, theologian

Quoted in:
Walter R. Fuchs, Cybernetics for the Modern Mind, p. 47, Rupert Hart-Davis Educational Publications and The Macmillan Company , 1971 (Translation)