Tim Ball: New Adages For The Technocratic Era

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A little levity can go a long way to stimulate a clearer perspective on things. Dr. Tim Ball has been creating adages for a long time and here are some of his favorites.  ⁃ TN Editor

Adages, are proverbs or short memorable statements expressing a general truth, usually based on experience. Many have no relevance to the modern world, such as “Don’t look a Gift Horse in the mouth,” but many are still useful, “Where there is smoke there is fire.” What we need are new adages for the modern technocratic age.  Here are few I put together over the years based on my experiences. I am sure you can and will create your own.


Academic gowns show universities are medieval institutions completely out of touch with the modern world.

When the call center message says, “All our assistants are busy,” they really mean we don’t have enough staff.

When the call center message says, “Your call may be recorded for quality” they really mean we are covering our legal backsides.

The tail always wagged the dog: Now, because of political correctness, the flea on the hair on the tail wags the dog.

Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words hurt more, which is why the pen is mightier than the sword.

Young men have so lost direction that they have their caps on backward.

Household mathematics: three bags of groceries, four bags of garbage.

If you are on a cell phone, please use the speaker so I can hear both sides of the conversation.

Every saying has a contradictory saying except “ignorance is bliss.”

People rush home to sit down, put their feet up and say, “What will I do now.”

To avoid political correctness and say what they really think without accountability people say, “Let me play Devil’s Advocate.”

They say, incorrectly, one person cannot change the world. Unfortunately, they can, and it is almost always changed for the worse.

Global warming is another undelivered government promise.

Eventually, all those people texting will end up writing Shakespeare’s plays.

Rules designed to facilitate operations, bring them to a halt when people work to rule.

The truth doesn’t need spin.

Who created the God particle?

How quickly does the thick skin required for leadership become completely insensitive?

To see ourselves as others see us, just look at your reflection in a shop window.

Shakespeare’s works are a secular bible.

The spelling of dyslexia is a cruel joke.

20/20 vision means you see 20 percent of things 20 percent of the time.

When someone says, let me tell you the truth, does it mean all they said before were lies?

The only thing bigger government provides is bigger and better corruption.

A flat Earth is better because you can push the idiots off the edge.

How mad are people when they die and find there is no heaven and they were good all their lives for nothing?

We should change the name of the Earth to Water.

Why does a military tank require a reverse gear?

Coffee is the socially acceptable drug from Colombia.

What was the greatest thing before sliced bread?

Only the good die young because they are not around long enough to be bad.

They have it backward. In the schools, they are preaching not teaching, and in the church, they are teaching not preaching.

If it ends in “ism” there will be a schism.

If you want the rope to snag it won’t. If you don’t, it will.

A superiority complex is always a cover for an inferiority complex.

It’s a conspiracy of silence. If parents told their children what it is like to have children, they wouldn’t have any and the entire system would end.

Most people who walk on red lights usually have the least urgency to go anywhere.

Our hobbies and pastimes were survival skills for our ancestors. Do we intuitively know we will need them again?

As we slow down, time speeds up.

We are living longer, but the parts still wear out at the same time.

Every community should have a giant wheel for all the runners to produce something with the energy they waste.

Businesses quickly surpassed environmental activists in exploiting the environment for personal gain.

What happens to the Dutch Elm Beetles when they kill the last Dutch Elm?

It’s only obvious because someone made it obvious.

You can get ahead by pulling yourself up or pushing the other people down.  Guess which is easier.

Introspection results in exposition and most don’t like what they see.

Real, practical, succinct philosophy occurs on bumper stickers.

People will say there is too much government, but within 30 minutes be asking why the government isn’t doing something about a problem.

When a person prefaces a remark with “Let me tell you the truth” does it mean that their remarks without the preface are lies?

It says, “Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear,” which really means this mirror does not work properly.

Stubbornness in the old is a conundrum because it makes them live longer but difficult to deal with.

If you try to legislate equality, you will guarantee inequality.

Today’s philosophy is that you only broke the law if you get caught.

Governments are like cancer because they grow unchecked to kill the body.

Proselytizers are emotional and intellectual bullies.

The more writing on the outside of the envelope the less information inside, it is also true of people and tattoos.

Generally, people in favor of abortions oppose the death penalty, and those who oppose abortions support the death penalty.

If you have to plan your historical legacy you don’t have one.

Banking Basics: You make a mistake you pay, they make a mistake you pay.

Environmentalists are the new puritans.

How qualified is a celibate to give marriage counseling?

Business is a balance between reality and government regulations.

Allow the space between cars the driving manual requires and somebody will cut in.

Is a homosexual priest required to be celibate?

Sustainable development means everything to everyone and nothing to anyone.

Mothers-in-law are generally regarded with low esteem, while grandmothers are generally held in high regard, yet they are the same people.

The value of a Flat Earth is you can push the idiots off the edge, now they keep coming back at you.

Unions only exist because of bad management.

The phrase ‘legal justice’ is an oxymoron.

The anagram for Senator appropriate in today’s politics is treason.

Seared is a geopolitically appropriate anagram for Red Sea.

Avarice is a socially appropriate anagram for caviar.

If you are at the seaside, you should know that an anagram of sunbather is heat burns.

It is appropriate, because of people’s confusion that unclear is an anagram of nuclear.

Decide for yourself the significance of the fact that bedroom is an anagram of boredom.

It is not an appropriate craft even though canoe is an anagram of ocean.

If you measured, you anagrammatically made sure.

A selfie is the perfect technology for the narcissistic ‘me’ generation.

Business today is a balance between government and reality.

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About the Author

Dr. Tim Ball
Dr. Tim Ball is a renowned environmental consultant and former professor of climatology at the University of Winnipeg. He has served on many local and national committees and as Chair of Provincial boards on water management, environmental issues and sustainable development. Dr. Ball's extensive science background in climatology, especially the reconstruction of past climates and the impact of climate change on human history and the human condition, made him the perfect choice as the Chief Science Adviser with the International Climate Science Coalition.
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