Friday, October 20, 2017

Ever have one of those days...........?


History is a wonderful thing.......

"God!  The country that produced George Washington has got this collection of crumb-bums!

-Barbara Tuchman, on the 1980 presidential candidates

In case you needed reminding, Ronald Reagan was the 1980 Republican candidate, after primary challenges from Howard Baker, Bob Dole, Lowell Weicker, John Anderson, Philip Crane, John Connally, and George H. W. Bush.  Jimmy Carter, the incumbent president, was the Democratic candidate, after besting Teddy Kennedy for the nomination.  John Anderson, not pleased to be left out of the fun, then ran as an independent, gathering over 5,700,000 votes.

About networking......................

     Since you need to have a network to be successful, can you build one and still feel good about yourself?  Even if you're an introvert?
     To answer these questions, let's take a look at Adam Rifkin.  In 2011, Fortune magazine named him the best networker in Silicon Valley.  Guess what?  Adam's a shy introvert.  He's also the nicest guy you'll ever meet.  In fact, he goes by the nickname "Panda."
     What's Panda's secret to networking?   Be a friend.  Yeah, it's that simple.  Networking isn't just a skill anybody can learn.  It's a skill you already know.  Make friends.

-Eric Barker,  Barking Up The Wrong Tree:  The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong

On giving and interest....................

"It is better to give than to receive.  Look for opportunities to do something for the other person, such as sharing knowledge or offering an introduction to someone that person might not know but would be interested in knowing.  Do not be transactional about networking.  Do not offer something because you want something in return.  Instead, show a genuine interest in something you and the other person have in common."

-Adam Rifkin, as quoted by Eric Barker

... what is easily missed................

     Still, why go to all this trouble?  The unexamined life is certainly worth living; an unreflective surfer should keep on surfing until the last of his or her blessed days.  Why then devote a life to formulating answers to questions that may not have what people would readily call "answers"?   For me at least, the value in philosophy and in surfing is not so different.  Both are fun!  But more to the point, waves and ideas are often sublime, or beautiful, or both, and in patiently attending to them, you see and feel ever more of what is easily missed.  You gain ever deeper understanding, ever greater attunement, in your thinking and your actions.  The superficiality of life, the mania for status or money or power, along with its contagious anxieties, then fades into the background, becoming white noise in a peaceful life lived by its own joyous music.

-Aaron James,  Surfing With Sartre:  An Aquatic Inquiry Into A Life Of Meaning

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Likely true.............................

The curse of modern politics is an epidemic of good intentions and bad outcomes. Policy after policy is chosen and voted on according to whether it means well, not whether it works.

-My favorite optimist takes on "virtue signalling" here

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I will attest....................... the truth in this statement:

"One of the worst positions to be in as an investor is being a forced seller of your shares at an inopportune time. "

--Ben Carlson, as extracted from here

Never forget that the IRS bats last.  You don't know the full truth about your investment until it is sold and the taxman paid.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Playing in the background...........

Grateful for the limited time window......

History has shown that all species will either go extinct or evolve into another species, though with our limited time window that is hard for us to see.  But we do know that what we call mankind was simply the result of DNA evolving into a new form about two hundred thousand years ago, and we know that mankind will certainly either go extinct or evolve into a higher state.

-Ray Dalio

cartoon via


     Throughout the inhabited world, in all times and under every circumstance, myths of man have flourished; and they have been the living inspiration of whatever else may have appeared out of the activities of the human body and mind.  It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into the human cultural manifestation.

-Joseph Campbell,  The Hero With A  Thousand Faces

Questions without answers.........

Cosmologists used to think the universe was totally timeless: no beginning, no end. That might sound mind-melting, but it’s easier on the scientific brain than figuring out what a set starting point would mean, let alone when it would be. 

-as opens this "What Came Before?" post

thanks Craig