Phil ‘Mr. Timesizing®’ Hyde

Sayings of ‘Lao Phil’
© 1998-2014 Philip Hyde, Pres., Timesizing Assocs., Harvard Sq PO Box 117, Cambridge, Mass., USA 02238 - HOMEPAGE

First, some hors d'oeuvres from the original Lao Tzu, the "Old Boy" of Chinese philosophy and, some say, mentor of Confucius -
Who can, by stirring, clear muddy water - but leave it alone, and it will come clear of itself.
(Compare: It's clear as mud but it covers the ground. - from Hillbilly at Harvard on WHBR 95.3 FM radio Boston 2/28/2009.)
(Compare also: It doesn't have to be perfect, just adequate. - from Big Blue's (IBM's) philosophy. On with Lao Tzu -)
(And, Life's too short for perfection. - phil hyde, or did he get it from george h. dyer?)
The sage does nothing, and yet, nothing remains undone.
The sage appears unstable as water, yet beneath, is solid as rock.
If you would lead the people, you must, by your words, place yourself behind them.
If you would lead the empire, you must first experience the worst the empire has to offer.

And now, "Lao Phil" -

The greatest Christian virtue is ... unshockability.

The basic purpose of life, of the Universe, of everything ... the most fundamental plot or backstory ... is extremely simple: ...
                      c o n t i n u e
and whatever continues better,   c o n t i n u e s    b     e     t     t     e     r     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
And that is the law and the prophets of natural selection.

Life's too short for perfection.
[Sample app: forget the 47th edit & fling the book to the printer.]

The older I get, the more it's about FIBER.

Phil's diet: fiber for breakfast, fish for lunch, and salad for supper (& if you're still hungry, a tin of beans).

My latest self-definition: I am a biodegradable organic robot, with Attitude and Illusion - and too much of both!

The love of beauty is the fear of impotence.
[Sample application: a trophy wife may be an embarrassing admission.]

Sexiness is the ability to threaten the boundary* while remaining firmly on your own side.
(*between "masculine" and "feminine")
[Think of Barbarella, 7 of 9, Lara Croft versus Elvis Presley, David Bowie, Orlando Bloom.]

Ye have heard that it was said in old times, "He who laughs last laughs best," but I say unto you: He who laughs second-last laughs best, because he has enough momentum and equilibrium (= enough depth of humor and enough of a life aka strategic goals) to move on and not open the possibility of continuing an unpleasant exchange.

Humor may be defined as the sudden realization of the sameness of extreme opposites.

New England weather in autumn or spring is such that if you want warmth, you gotta take rain, and if you want sun, you gotta take cold.

As unconsciously self-constructing, biodegradable, bio-organic robots with attitude and illusion (and plenty of both!), we find ourselves in a comedy, caught between good luck of impossibly low probability (our birth) and bad luck of 100% high probability (the tragedy of our death).

Show me someone who never makes mistakes* and I'll show you a liar or someone with very low standards.
(*Or let's just say, 'someone who never makes an experiment they wouldn't repeat...')

The most beneficially powerful, single design modification we can make in our current socioeconomic design is downward workweek adjustment. Second would be automatic overtime-to-training&hiring conversion.

Peace creates depressions with labor surplus. War (and plague) throughout history "solves" depressions with labor shortage.

Throughout recorded history, labor surplus has been a mysterious corelative of every single depression and labor shortage a mysterious corelative of every period of prosperity.
Same with high crime of every period of unemployment and low crime of every period of full employment.
Does the data have to do handstands before mainstream economists construct a theory that accounts for these "corelations," or even discusses them?
(Oh, I forgot - history before 10 years ago does not exist for mainstream economists - and not surprisingly, "the future" is usually only as far ahead as the next quarter.)

Republicans create depressions with greed (taxcuts and jobcuts). Democrats solve depressions with sharing (lots of makework and charity - and a little sharework = shorter worktime). The parties switched roles in 1908 when Teddy Roosevelt passed the presidency to Taft and Taft dropped the ball ("right on Teddy's toes").

Humans are biodegradable organic robots with ATTITUDE.
The attitude includes feeling chosen and loved by a giant parent figure in the sky.
The attitude is understandable because life's all about self morale-management - ya gotta keep your spirits up.
(And the older you get, the more it's about fiber.)
(And the older you get, the more you gotta stretch and squirm, writhe and wriggle, to stay baby-rubbery.) 12/06/09/ph3jane's

The universe is the product of evolution, and the basic law of evolution is simply, "continue" ... and ... (axiom 1) ... whatever continues better, continues better ... and ... (axiom 2) ... whatever continues better speeds up further bettering; that is, accelerates further improvement (in continuing). Therefore, "evil" is whatever does not conduce to continuing, and "good" is whatever does help the continuing.
Complication: the continuity of many subsystems does not conduce to the continuity of a larger system that contains them; for example, the continuity of the fossil-fuel system does not conduce to the continuity of the overall system of human existence within which it is a subsystem.

"Men marry women hoping that they will not change,*
and women marry men hoping that they will change.**
And inevitably everyone's disappointed."
Vince Vaughn, of film "Couples Retreat," quoted in article "Mature, yes, but no 'Couples' authority" in 10/09/2009 Boston Metro, p.13.
*because in our culture, men generally more actively invest a lot of energy in picking from a wide selection of women, and hope the one they finally propose to won't lose the attractions (largely physical) they picked her for, but
**women still mainly more passively pick from the narrow selection of men who propose to them and hope when the initial hormone rush wears off that he will gradually change into their dream prince.

The older I get, the more it's about fiber, and self-morale-management.

The older I get, the less I try to remember things and the more I use positioning. I put an empty Kleenex box by the back door to remember to bring up more Kleenex from downstairs; I put an empty Drano bottle in the sink to remember not to use that sink for 20 minutes till the Drano works...
The fading of shorter-term memory is such that you can tell yourself from long-term memory (and enjoy as on the first hearing) the words to Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer...

[How to lose a pound a day if you're over 200 pounds:
Start in the spring, when there's new life all around to offset your depression and celebrate your victories instead of food.
Then repeat after me -]
Fiber, sardines,
Salad, and beans.
[A small bowl of fiber cereal for breakfast, a tin or a half of sardines for lunch,
salad for supper (baby spinach), garnished with mandarin-orange slices, bleu-cheese crumbles, sunflower seeds & honey-mustard dressing,
and if you're still hungry, a small can of pork and beans
- the beans are inflationary, and give you the illusion that you're full. So -]
Fiber, fish, & salad [or, with complete alliteration:]
Fiber, fish & fodder [or, with constant trochees:]
[Toss in a coupla baby-cut carrots and broccolli florettes anda halfa sticka celery in between.
Where's dinner fit in? Maybe once on the weekend to forestall your body's hyper-efficient starvation reflex.
Make sure you go for a walk, a bike ride, or both, every day it's not raining.
If it is raining, rev up the Nordic Trak in the basement
while watching the most distracting available halfhour-plus TV show.
And remember, when you're below 200 lbs, you can ride the mules down the *Grand Canyon
(and the camel at the *Granby zoo in Qué.
- if you flunk, you can still ride the rickety monorail over the tigerpark,
or if you don't like rickety, fly to Seattle
- its *monorail is shorter but solid.]

The function of dieting to slim down is to practice the way you should be eating routinely even when you're not trying to slim down - and if "routinely" sounds boring, yes, food has to become boring and lose its uses of high-point, comfort, celebration... - sex can healthily substitute since it lengthens your life, but the main thing must be your mission, your agenda - the thing you want to lengthen your life for = so you can push your life agenda a little further.

How to keep your head at parties? Have "alcohol sandwiches," meaning one alcoholic drink, one non-alcoholic, one alcoholic, one non-alcoholic....

Bored with your commute? Experiment with other routes and then each day choose the shortest psychological route, which is not necessarily the shortest route.

Religion is self-morale-management.

I am a biodegradable organic robot, who imagines he has an immortal soul for the rather important purpose of self-morale-management. Plus it helps square with the overwhelming impression I have of the conscious reality of me. I'd like to say "the conscious reality of I" here, but each time I objectify I, I gets automatically translated into the objective case of the pronoun, that is, me. Ergo, I cannot objectify I because the real I has already slipped out of the predicate into the subject area before the verb to do the objectifying.

Evolution is a very long-term trend away from greater violence, drama and quantity, & toward greater gentleness, diversity and quality.

The function of radicals is to broaden the category of "moderates."
[Sample application: without the Technocrats' push for a 16-hour workweek, Art Dahlberg would have looked crazy pushing for 20.]

Downsizing is an insult to human versatility - it sells people short.
Downsizing says, "People can't change, so get rid of them."
Timesizing says, "Humans are the most changeable species there is. Of course people can change!
The only truth in 'You can't change human nature' is the unparalleled changeability of human nature, dba versatility."

You can't loot your corporate pension funds indefinitely without hurting your senior customers and their purchasing.
You can't slash your workforce forever without cutting into your own markets.
You can't pass costs along to your customers indefinitely without shrinking your own sales.

Contemporary contradictory, short-term capitalism privatizes & funnels profits & security, but nationalizes & scatters losses and risk. This is how it spawns stock bubbles and economic instability while complaining about "government inefficiency."
Incoming, consistent, long-term capitalism (timesizing & successors) targets the point where the funnelling becomes top-heavy, and at that point automates reinvestment in its own consumer base. This is how it avoids stock bubbles and keeps the economy stable.
The funnelling becomes top-heavy at the point where the interests of the wealthy and everyone else diverge so much that the wealthy no longer connect the dots between their workforce and their consumer base, and begin to think it's all about investing in production with a minimum of employees, never mind having strong market-supported productivity to invest in and a high velocity of currency circulation to support the value of that investing.

Getting your third-world economy "rescued" by the IMF or the World Bank or the WTO is like getting saved from the Titanic by a great white shark.

We couldn't be inducing depression faster if we were doing it on purpose.
(Quoted from end of 3/13/99 items on Collapse page.)

It takes a lot to bring a big economy down, but we're making every possible effort.
(Quoted from end of 4/4/99 items on Collapse page.)

Only the person who has designed a solution can afford, emotionally, to compete for the title of "most cynical."
Also. I used to think the conspiracy theorists didn't know the half of it.
Now I believe they don't know a tenth of it, a hundredth! a thousandth!!...of the horrible truth.)

"In each period, there is a general form of the forms of thought, and, like the air we breathe, such a form is so translucent, and so pervading, and so seemingly necessary that only by extreme effort can we become aware of it." Alfred North Whitehead, quoted by James Carroll in "Nuclear weapons debate takes new form," 6/15/2009 Boston Globe, A11. In our period, that form of forms is the prevailing economic theory, despite its multiple self-contradictions. And that is why conventional economists* hate 'autodidacts' = the self-taught - who are liable to reveal that the Emperor (and his economic advisers) has no clothes. (*such as Charlie Kindleberger, as quoted by David Warsh in his "Economic Principals.")
Compare the Whorf-Sapir Hypothesis, which says that the class of ideas you can get is predetermined and limited by your language.
Compare Phil Hyde's idea that every age has its strict limits on creativity, especially creativity in the service of power or in the invention of new power. Creativity is limited by the trust and faith (trust projected into the future) that the integrating paradigm-mechanism is capable of generating.

The best Victorian parlour songs are: The Holy City, The Lost Chord, and Jim, take note William Bolcom and Joan Morris!
The chorus and/or first lines are:
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, lift up your gates and sing / Hosannas to the highest, hosannas to your King.
    I was seated one day at the organ... / And I struck one chord of music like the sound of the Great Amen....
"So you're going to leave the old home, Jim.   [Here's the whole thing of this less familiar one.]
Today you're going away -
You're going amongst the city folk to dwell."
So spoke a dear old mother to her boy one summer's day.
She spoke these words and then she said, "Farewell.
  The old home will be lonely.
We will miss you when you're gone.
The birds won't sing as sweet when you're not nigh.
But if you get in trouble, Jim,
Just write and let us know."
She spoke these words and then she said goodbye:
  "When sickness overtakes you,
When old companions shake you,
And through the world you wander, all...alone,
When friends you have not any,
In your pocket not a penny,
There's a mother always 'waiting you
At home, sweet home."
  Ten years later to the village
Came a stranger no one knew.
His steps were old and ragged clothes he wore.
The little children laughed at him as down the lane he trod.
At last he stopped before a cottage door.
He knocked - there came no answer -
And he thought, "Can she be dead."
But then was heard a voice - 'twas known to him,
What mother's voice did hail him with that silvery touch of time!
She said, "What did I promise, little Jim? -
  When sickness overtakes you,
When old companions shake you,
And through the world you wander, all...alone,
When friends you have not any,
In your pocket not a penny,
There's a mother always 'waiting you
At home, sweet home."
From an old coil record for an Edison wind-up gramophone that I sold for C$6 to buy swimfins when I was c.10. I sure enjoyed those swimfins but I also missed that gramophone and those old coil records, that included, "Just before the battle, Mother," and "Holy, Holy, Holy."

The Series of Extensions

This is Phil's brand of nominalism, now called post-modernism or post-structuralism. Structuralism was probably coined by Jean Piaget in the 1950s but was retroactively applied to pre-Chomskian linguistics from Ferdinand de Saussure to Bloomberg and Gleason. Postmodernism raises the already high bar in academic discussions for obscurantism (ie: makework). It was started by Frenchmen like Michel Foucault (Order of Things) and Jacques Derrida (Of Grammatology) - no wonder the French have been forced to resume workweek reduction instead of probing further realms of makework. Postmodernism also appropriates the Whorf-Sapir Hypothesis = the BGO (blinding glimpse of the obvious) that your language determines the set of ideas you can get; that is, the current forefront in the advance of language evolution strictly limits the creativity of the age.

Extend at will and email us your best ones at Timesizing(at)

Other gems -

Canoe down the river of like-minded people.
(That's from John Paul Kowal, Buffalo Aqua Club member, navy seal, IRI mgmt consultant & wicked-fast metaphor generator, of Brookline MA, 1942-1997)

And that's a special case of the following advice from Naida Denise Dyer, Phil's first wife -
Make it as easy as possible for reality to give you what you want.

(Here's another gem from Naida that I just remembered - again.   If you're feeling that something's wrong with you [your complexion, your clothes, your house, whatever] -)
Don't obsess about it! If it doesn't bother you, it won't bother anyone else.
(Not 100% true but probably "only" 80-90% true.)

(Also, from Naida's dad, George Herbert - or Hubert? - Dyer -)
If in doubt, revert to original plan.
[or simply]
If in doubt, don't.
[Compare Lao Phil: If in doubt, opt for maximum optionality -
meaning, choose the path that leaves the most current options open the longest and/or provides the most new ones.]

(Also from George H. Dyer -)
It's a great life if you don't weaken.

(And from Lally Thomas, or her sister Ianthe -)
Attack at the point of consciousness (it may be the only chance you get!).
[Compare Lao Phil: Start with the task that's hardest to remember (it may be the only time you'll remember it).
Or the dining-at-a-potluck version: Start with the foods that are vanishing fastest.
Or the prudent budgeter's taboo: Impulse-purchase!]

(And from Evelyn Waugh, not the famous British writer (Arthur Evelyn St.John Waugh) but the wonderful lady who taught English to Lawrence Park Collegiate highschoolers, including Richard Philip Hyde in Grades XI-XIII, in Toronto in the late 1950s -)
Folks, you can usually get what you really want in this life. So just be v-e-r-y careful what you want.
[Compare today's commonplace: Be careful what you wish for.]

(And from Mr. Moses, the best teacher at Huron Street Public School in Toronto in the 1940s and early 50s - Richard Hyde had the pleasure of his teaching in Grade 5, and he allowed me to skip Grade 6 - Grade 6 topics like Magellan and Vasco da Gama became mysterious - had to find out about them independently later = small price to pay for avoiding an entire year of makework #4 -)
If you don't like it, don't look at it.

(And from Piet Hein's "Grooks" -)
Put up in a place where it's easy to see
The cryptic admonishment, "T T T."
When you think how distressingly slowly you climb,
It is well to remember that ... Things Take Time

Ensconced in his big armchair in the living room of Grannie's bungalow in Oak Ridges, Ontario, Canada,
Grandpa Hyde used to intone...
(Philip Edward Hyde, 1880-1955 = Philip Hyde I) -
None are so blind, as those that will not see.
Oh what a world of sin and sorrow
For all those who beg and borrow.
For their debts, though paltry sums
They promise to repay tomorrow -
But tomorrow never comes
and then
God made man and God made woman,
And God made man the stronger.
But to give the woman an equal chance,
He made her tongue the longer

To which Grannie (Louise Elizabeth Reppen Hyde, 1885-1969) would repost -
Patience is a virtue.
Possess it if you can.
'Tis often found in woman.
But seldom in a man.

Will Rogers says...

[Re Oct. 29, 1929 -]
I have been in Washington on Inauguration day, Claremore on Fourth of July, Dearborn on Edison Day...But to have been in New York on 'Wailing Day'...You know there is nothing that hollers as quick and loud as a gambler.

See where Congress passed a two-billion-dollar bill to relieve bankers' mistakes and loan to new industries...You can always count on us helping those who have lost part of their fortune, but our whole history records nary a case where the loan was for the man who had absolutely nothing. (1931)

There is one rule that works in every calamity, be it pestilence, war or famine - the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.... The poor even help arrange it.

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