- The best time for something to break is when you're
Corollary: If it ain't broke, break it.
- Paper doesn't crash.
- Always have an override.
- Dedication and diligence cannot be prescribed, legislated or
- Not all mishaps can be ascribed to malice or mechanical failure.
Some people are just stupid, or insane. (Note that "some" can
take on values approaching "all".)
- In any contest between Theory and Observation, Observation
Corollary #1: Theory that contradicts observed facts is
an indication that you've made a wrong assumption.
Corollary #2: Theory that contradicts non-observational
facts may indicate faulty observations.
- The Universe has its own definitions of justice and morality.
They may not agree with yours.
- Loyalty is owed to people, not ideas.
- If you ask a question you don't understand, you will get an
answer you don't understand.
- Always admit when you're wrong, and not just to yourself.
- It's always easier to build a levee before the river rises.
- Life is too short to wear uncomfortable shoes.
- Never be ashamed of loving your work. You're better at what you
- Whatever you value most highly will be what disappoints you
- All crackpot or conspiracy-related theories can eventually be
traced back to someone trying to make money.
- Never turn down a free ride or a free meal. Just make sure it
really is free.
- All arguments on the Internet are won by attrition.
Corollary: An argument won by attrition is
- Nothing is ever as simple as it seems.
Corollary: All questions are complex at a deep enough
- The most sacred quality in the Universe is surprise.
- Every idea sounds better if someone else is doing all the
- Any sufficiently advanced technology can be abused to do things
it was never meant to do.
- It won't always get worse before it gets better, but that's the
way to plan.
- People trying adamantly to warn you that "the other side" is
engaging in an underhanded strategy are usually engaging in that
strategy themselves. Hence their warning.
- There are occasions when there is no substitute
- The Cockroach Rule: If you encounter one instance
or example of something someone would prefer remain
hidden—corruption, malfeasance, etc.—there are a
hundred more instances you haven't found yet.
- Pay close attention to who’s agreeing with you. It will
tell you a lot about public perception of your opinions.
- No profession has a monopoly on dedication and competence.
Corollary: No profession is devoid of drones and
- The more enlightened someone claims to be, the more likely
they are to be batshit crazy.
- When you are surrounded by nails, a hammer is better than
- Every problem looks simple from ten miles away.
- Metadata is data.
- The longer you talk to me, the longer it will take me to
fix your problem.
- When it comes to diagnosis and troubleshooting, the customer
is always wrong.
- For any given system, any attempt by one group to increase
reliability will be met by attempts by another to add
functionality and reduce reliability.
- When all else fails, flip the board over. Wreak havoc.
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James P. Goltz
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