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June 02, 2004


Reading "the internet" can be a recurring source of frustration. It helps to remember a few simple errors in reason are often at the root of even the most vexing virtual vituperation. In the spirit of Fran´┐Żois, the Duc de la Rochefoucauld, the Flea offers select maxims for surviving the conversatizione of the blogosphere.


Just because someone is willing to die for an ideal does not make that ideal admirable.

Simple lies are often easier to believe than complicated truths. And vice versa.

Conspiracy theories are reassuring. They give the impression someone actually knows what is going on.

The enemy of your enemy is not your friend.

Youthful idealism can be lead tragically astray.

When you discover someone with a regional accent you find amusing is better educated than you are it is time to wonder if you are the one with a problem.

Taking the name of the Lord to justify your hatreds is the worst form of blasphemy.

It is hard to enforce the rules when you do not believe in them.

Our elected leaders will be accused of doing horrible things to defend democracy. Those accusations will often be a false. Sometimes they will be true.

Calling someone a fascist because you do not agree with them means you have no word left to describe actual fascism when it finds you.

People fighting for their nation are not always in the right. Fighting for national glory is not the same as fighting for an ideal.

Saying something over and over again does not make it true.

The left claims to stand for freedom even as it would take freedom away. The right claims to stand for freedom even as it would take freedom away.

God cannot be contained in a building or a book or a word let alone a list of rules.

I don't like your hobbies either.

The stupid will always be with us.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at June 2, 2004 08:44 AM

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That. Was. Brilliant.

Posted by: Emma at June 2, 2004 03:01 PM

Awesome. I'll link this later in the week.

Posted by: Bill from INDC Journal at June 2, 2004 06:18 PM

I was hoping for comments on Sir Hiram's best known invention. Oh well, off to the Castle!


Posted by: J.M. Heinrichs at June 2, 2004 09:37 PM

Nicely done! This reminded me of Jenny Holzer's Truisms, but I like your list much much better.

Posted by: Mich at June 2, 2004 10:25 PM

I covered it for you, John - before I saw your comment.

There is now a linkage, via trackback, to make your world rightside-up again!

Great stuff Nicholas - though I thank you more for "Dear Brian!"

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at June 3, 2004 03:04 PM

Nicely done, but one item sticks out like a sore thumb:

The right claims to stand for freedom even as it would take freedom away.

That may be true, but the page you linked to certainly doesn't bear that out. I know far more conservatives than liberals who support school choice and the RKBA, or who oppose seatbelt and helmet laws.

Posted by: Xrlq at June 9, 2004 08:17 PM


Posted by: Gordon at June 13, 2004 09:34 AM