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The Old Sayings Are Wrong

There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch
Taken literally, this is patently false, as anyone with a grandmother knows. You may say “well, Grandma paid for it so it isn't free.” But it is free – to you.
I have a fruit tree in my front yard, and all its fruit is completely free.
What this old saying means is “never trust a salesman”. If a salesman offers to buy your lunch, it will cost you.
From a physicist's perspective, it means you can't break the three laws of thermodynamics; you can never get more energy out of a system than you put in.
You get what you pay for
This is another salesman lie, with the sales lady getting you to believe that the higher priced item is always better than the cheap item. But you don’t always get what you pay for. Often the less expensive item is equal or superior, with over-the-counter drugs being an excellent example. Aleve costs three times what generic naproxin does, yet is the exact same drug.
And of course there are swindlers. If someone sells you a counterfeit Rolex at a real Rolex price, or a diamond ring with a zirconium stone, you have been swindled and certainly didn’t get what you paid for.
You usually pay for what you get, but often you pay far less than you otherwise did. Just yesterday I saw a “going out of business” sign at a Radio Shack, and since I needed a new soldering iron I went in. The iron and solder were a third what I would have paid had I not procrastinated, and I got a TV antenna for five bucks. I got a lot more than I paid for.
Get what you pay for? Usually, but sometimes you get more than you paid for and sometimes a high priced item turns out to be utter junk.
What goes up must come down
This was true until July of 1969, when astronauts left man-made objects on the moon. They're not likely to ever come back down.
There are robots rolling around Mars. These, too, are unlikely to ever come down.
Then there are the Voyager spacecraft, which are now outside the entire solar system. It's a certainty that these machines will never return to Earth.
Money doesn't grow on trees
Of course it does, orchards grow lots of money. Not only does it grow on trees, it grows on corn stalks, tomato plants, soybean bushes...
A picture is worth a thousand words
If it is, then draw me a picture that says “a picture's worth a thousand words.” Pictures can be aids in communication, and a picture is better than a description, but it's impossible to teach using only pictures.
However, it is true in a monetary sense, in that a thousand word magazine article will garner a commercial writer less than the artist who made the cover art did.
What doesn't kill me makes me stronger
Nietzsche was an idiot. Just ask any brain-damaged quadriplegic if he's stronger than he was before the accident.
Oh, and also, God isn't dead, Nietzsche is.
You can never be too rich or too thin
Whoever started this stupid meme was a gold plated idiot. Of course you can be too thin. Bulimia and anorexia have killed people.
The “too rich” is subjective. I'd say if you have more money than anyone could spend in a lifetime when there are hungry people, you're too rich. How can someone like that live with themselves?
Lightning never strikes the same place twice
It amazes me how gullible most people are, believing everything anyone tells them. They even believe stuff that was proven untrue centuries ago, as in this saying. It was believed for at least hundreds of years and likely longer until Ben Franklin disproved it with his kite and his invention of the lightning rod. If lightning never strikes the same place twice, lightning rods wouldn't work.
Only the good die young
Well, they showed you a statue, told you to pray
They built you a temple and locked you away
Aw, but they never told you the price that you pay
For things that you might have done
Only the good die young
That's what I said
Only the good die young
– Billy Joel
I've heard this nonsense all my life, and can’t understand why people actually believe that tripe. Yes, some good young people do die way before their time.
But if only the good die young, then why are so many inner-city young men killed in gun battles with rival gangs? Good people never die in gang battles unless they're not a part of the fight and simply get caught in the crossfire.
Why do so many young people get drunk and die in their cars when they wrap them around trees? Good people don't drive when they're drunk.
And if you're Christian, remember that Jesus said “none are good, except God.” Only the very young; the small children who die innocent are good. But bad young people die all the time.


Useful Dead Technologies Redux


If present trends continue...

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