January 1, 2009
Wisdom Gleaned In San Francisco
All of these insights have their deep and shallow versions.
- Practical knowledge is impossible without knowing what information to discard.
- Vapor in the atmosphere makes light visible.
- Every cuisine is the triumph of centuries of vernacular chemistry.
- The idea of the future is a lens that brings spaces closer together.
- All of our neighborhoods hold familiar secrets, depths we’ve never plumbed.
- Consider your arguments and carefully circumscribe your conclusion. Then exceed those limits by at least twenty percent.
- Aesthetically, we respond to nuanced humanity and inhuman purity, the shaving mirror and the telescope, the contingency of a moment and the point of view of the eternal universe. Everything else rings false.
- An unheralded virtue: vigilance against an urge for thrift, misplaced.
- Any task of memory or thought benefits from an association (even an artificial one) with vision.
- Maps fool us into believing that cities exist in two dimensions, when they actually persist in (at least) four.
- Food, Books, Weather, Conversation — excellence in these four things is an apologia for an unhappy memory or an indifferent universe.