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Wisdom in Aphorisms
Vinay Gupta, 4 Jun 04

Wisdom is often expressed in pithy phrases which encompass a lifetime of experience.

* "measure twice, cut once"
* "premature optimization is the root of all evil"
* "if you hear hooves, look for horses, not zebras"

Have you come across any aphorisms about sustainability which seem to reflect some facet of wisdom? If so, please share them in the comments.

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Let me kick this off with one of my own (toot toot!):

“You know it’s a whole system when costs show up in one place, and benefits show up in another.”

Cynical, but a surprisingly useful diagnostic when trying to figure out if a given solution is a "whole systems" approach or not. For example, the famous Natural Capitialism rubric of "short, fat straight pipes" costs more in pipes, but massively less in pumps and energy for the pumps.

Posted by: Vinay on 4 Jun 04

?t's the decision model...

Posted by: Sylvia on 4 Jun 04

You know its good for you if you cant get anyone to do it.

You know its right if no one understands a word you just said.

You know you made a mistake if everyone agrees with you.

Posted by: wintermane on 5 Jun 04

Talk to the janitors.

Bill McDonough's design rules -
Waste equals food
use only available solar energy
respect diversity
love all the children

Posted by: gmoke on 5 Jun 04

Anyone who says love all the children doesnt have children;/

Posted by: wintermane on 5 Jun 04

If it's not actionable, it's not useful.

Posted by: Jon Stahl on 6 Jun 04

here're 300 :D


Posted by: reflexorset on 6 Jun 04

My favorite McDonoughism, if not exactly an aphorism: "How can we love all the children of all the species all of the time?"

Posted by: Jane Shevtsov on 7 Jun 04

hey, make the quickchanges links VISIBLE please, like with an underline or green or something!

Posted by: Eric on 7 Jun 04

Eric, that's one of the changes I'll be implementing this week.

Posted by: Jamais Cascio on 8 Jun 04

Like draws to like...

Posted by: Newton on 14 Jun 04



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