Seven Principles for 2017

undercroft

  • Unity is not a value, it is a strategy. Unifying can be used to impose control or to resist it (from within by subversion or as a group of disparate overlapping interests from without), but its value resides only in the values around which the unity is built or the utility to which it is put.
  • “Pushing through” is not a good in itself. Just as your body needs to distinguish between good muscle pain and bad muscle pain so your mind needs to know that there are some “difficult things” it is essential to keep doing and some you need to pull right back from.
  • Your horizons are not marked out by other people’s norms or abilities. In any direction. “That was really good” and “that was really poor” are judgments about your performance only you are qualified to make.
  • Uphold science in the face of irrelevant relativism. Uphold agnosticism and relativism in the face of inappropriate certainty. Learn the difference.
  • There is no shame in weakness. If you have the strength, use it to make the world better for those who do not. If you do not have strength, it is as much your right to expect of society as it is society’s duty to deliver.
  • Listen more.
  • Make the world more beautiful and more just but remember – beauty without justice is a hollow shell; justice without beauty is a start.
  • Failure is a wonderful, beautiful thing, but also a great privilege that many cannot afford. If you want to deliver justice and beauty, work towards a world in which everyone has the freedom to fail without fear.
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