What I’ve Learned in the Past 15 Years


You can sharply cut benefits and protections for people, as long as you announce that you’re doing it to strike a blow for individuality.

Even internet businesses need to “turn” a “profit.”

Rich people often hold grudges against their friends who are even more rich.

When things are hard for you, almost all of the people whom you think of as your friends will stop taking your calls.

When things are great for you, people whom you barely know will announce all the details of your close, intimate friendship.

A lot of those American flags we bought after 9/11 were made in China.

It turns out that gutting jobs and exporting factories overseas does not make average Americans richer.

If there is a disaster, you should start worrying precisely at the moment when they say, “There is nothing to worry about.” (Corollary: If they say, “It’s bad, but it’s not as bad as x,” that means, “It’s probably worse than x.”)

No one knows how to make a living in the music industry anymore.

Local video stores killed movie theatres. Blockbuster killed local video stores. Netflix killed Blockbuster. Chips in your head with on-demand movies will kill Netflix.

A whole lot of jobs that existed in my youth are now relics of a bygone age. Ditto the phrase,”I’m not going to answer the phone, because we just sat down to dinner.”

We have created a world in which no one ever has to be alone with their own thoughts.

Computers, which are supposed to be predictable, aren’t.

Everybody hopes that maybe mortality only happens to other people.

It turns out that real estate is not always a sure thing.

Once someone uses the phrase “The New Normal,” you’re at the top of the market.

Once someone says, “Only an idiot would buy, everybody knows that,” it’s time to buy.

When one party rewrites the rules to give themselves more power, the other party may protest. But they won’t change the rules back when they get back in power.

Most social communications innovations of the last 20 years have been made by socially awkward people who hate to communicate.

Smart phones have made rudeness socially acceptable.

People will put up with anything, as long as their illusions are maintained.

Republicans are evil, but at least they know what to do with power when they get it.

Republicans have struck a deal with frustrated white men: If you let corporations make you suffer, we’ll make sure that women and minorities suffer even more.

It turns out a lot of people don’t mind suffering, as long as they can make sure that other people are suffering even more.

Lying about wars, intelligence failures, or budgets will not get you kicked out of office.

Lying about sex will.

Life is fundamentally better for gay Americans than it used to be, although there’s still a long way to go.

A lot of technological advances protect us from the hell of other people, but they also prevent us from making real connections.

Once I was crying for 4 months straight, and I stopped once I got a B12 shot. It turns out that I needed something very badly in my life, and that something was not “a more positive attitude.”

Weather changes without notice, and so do emotions. The world is not the weather, and the soul is not the emotions.

People are still much more sympathetic towards physical illnesses than they are toward mental illnesses, even though most mental illnesses are physical in origin.

If someone you know is suffering, and you don’t give them compassionate sympathy, but instead advise them to “visualize,” you will go to a Special Hell.

This Special Hell is filled with burning, remaindered copies of The Secret. There is nothing else to read.

When people tell you that they never used to like you back in the past, do not be fooled. They are still insulting you in the present.

Sometimes, it can feel confusing to know who is really your friend. But it’s really quite simple. If someone is your friend, you feel better after you see them. If they’re not your friend, you feel worse.

This is also a good way to know whether you should keep dating someone.

A lot of people have been very fortunate in their life, and they think it’s because they’re nice people who work hard. They don’t realize that they are only able to be nice and work hard because they have been fortunate.

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