Saturday, March 1, 2014

He gave his life for tourism................

Steve Martin..............................................King Tut

Opening paragraphs...................

     "Well, I have my pet answer, and I was very proud of it.  But then, to my horror and disgust, I found that Plato had got the same answer about twenty-five hundred years ago!"  
     The man with the answer -  one he believed to be utterly original when he first hit on it as a teenager - was a mild-mannered and soft-spoken speculative cosmologist by the name of John Leslie.
-Jim Holt, as excerpted from Chapter Eleven, titled "The Ethical Requiredness of There Being Something," in his book, Why Does The World Exist?

Equalizing......................................









via

The Execupundit........................

...............offers a great Henry Kissinger quote.  Money line here:

...there are few ultimate solutions and whatever “solutions” there are, more often than not turn into a threshold for a new set of problems.

Fifty years ago..............................

At the movies....Peter Sellers/Elke Sommer in A Shot In The Dark
 "................all part of life's rich pagentry..........."

 

I don't know much about Ukraine..................

















..........so I turned to the Oracle Google to find some background.  Tucked in the Wikipedia report on Ukraine was this little tidbit,  "Ukraine is one of ten most attractive agricultural land acquisition regions."  Hmmm. "Land acquisition regions."  Sounds like a battleground to me.  For an interesting perspective of humankind, do yourself a favor and scroll through the history of Ukraine.  Makes one glad to live in a country with two large oceans for borders.  Of course, the history of Ukraine is way longer than the history of the United States.  Be interesting to read the history of the United States 600 years from now.  Just wondering if Iowa will ever become a "most attractive agricultural land acquisition region.

cartoon via

There's something funny in that water......























via

The key question.........................

Greg Sullivan, noting the intricate tapestry of life its ownself, says, "She is gifted. Then again, we all are. What are we doing with our gifts?

A bit dated, but you get the idea...................

INFIDEL, n.   In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion;  in Constantinople, one who does.   A kind of scoundrel imperfectly reverent of , and niggardly contributory to, divines, ecclesiastics, popes, parsons, canons, monks, mollahs, voodoos, presbyters, hierophants, prelates, obeah-men, abbes, nuns, missionaries, exhorters, brahmins, medicine-men, confessors, eminences, elders, primates, prebendaries, pilgrims, prophets, imaums, beneficiaries, clerks, vicars-choral, archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, preachers, padres, abbotesses, caloyers, palmers, curates, patriarchs, bonezs, santons, beadsmen, canonesses, residentiaries, diocesans, deans, subdeans, rural deans, abdals, charm-sellers, archdeacons, hierarchs, class-leaders, incumbents, capitulars, sheiks, talapoins, postulants, scribes, gooroos, precentors, beadles, fakeers, sextons, reverences, revivalists, cenobites, perpetual curates, chaplains, mudjoes, readers, novices, vicars, pastors, rabbis, ulemas, lamas, sacristans, vergers, dervises, lectors, church wardens, cardinals, prioresses, suffragans, acolytes, rectors, cures, sophis, mutifs and pumpums.
-Ambrose Bierce,  The Devil's Dictionary

Friday, February 28, 2014

While we grow old.................................

Minnie Riperton.........................................Loving You

 

Subjective.............................


















"Money is something that can be measured; art is not. It's all subjective."
-Jerry Saltz


image via

Subjective too......................................

















"I know music is subjective."
-Joan Jett

Learned......................................

"Subjective experience is not just one of the dimensions of life, it is life itself.  Material conditions are secondary:  they only affect us indirectly, by way of experience.  Flow, and even pleasure, on the other hand, benefit the quality of life directly.  Health, money, and other material advantages may or may not improve life.  Unless a person has learned to control psychic energy, chances are such advantages will be useless."
-Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi,  Flow:  The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Fifty years ago.................................

Millie Small.....................................................My Boy Lollipop

 

Longer...............................
















"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer."
-Albert Einstein

Mad.................................

REALITY, n.  The dream of a mad philosopher.
-Ambrose Bierce,  The Devil's Dictionary

Impossible.................................

M. C. Escher     Ascending Descending  (Detail)     1960

















"Every philosophy department should keep an impossible object around the office, just to instill a sense of metaphysical humility."
-attributed to Arthur Danto

Thursday, February 27, 2014

A singer in a band.....................

The Beatles..............................Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

 

Lost in knowledge..........................

The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.
All our knowledge brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to God.
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
Brings us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.


-T. S. Eliot
as excerpted from Choruses from the Rock

The only things...........................























Thanks Nan.  If you don't visit the Jade Page Press blog occasionally ... well you should.

Just people..............................

a thousand times..........................

We have thousands of times more available information than Thomas Jefferson or Abraham Lincoln. Yet which of us would think ourselves a thousand times more educated or more serviceable to our fellowmen than they? The sublime quality of what these two men gave to us—including the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address—was not attributable to their great resources of information, for their libraries were comparatively small by our standards. Theirs was the wise and inspired use of a limited amount of information.
-Dallin H. Oaks

thanks bilbo

Sink.....................................

























via

Wishful thinking/Fifty years ago.............

Chad  & Jeremy.......................................A Summer Song

 

Ten ideas.........................

9.    Be a giver. "Love is the killer app." In giving, you build loyalty and win support.

9 other ideas at this blog post titled, Coping with Choice

Fun with photography........................























via

Chase Jarvis.............................

......posts a series of stunning non-color photos:




Wednesday, February 26, 2014

No was all he said........................

The Band.....................................................The Weight

Got that right...............................

























via

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth............................



















via

Say it isn't so.........................

The formerly anonymous source of the @GSElevator Twitter account has been outed.  Full story here.  A few more iterations here:




Fifty years ago.......................

The Bachelors....................................................Diane
 (It's little wonder the Beatles took the world by storm)

 

Grace.....................................

















"The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy."
-Steven Weinberg

cartoon via

Careful what you wish for............................

"Journalists often lose sight of the fact that the only thing worse than legislative gridlock usually is legislative consensus."
-Craig Newmark, as taken from here

On needs...................................

























































thanks jessica      non-chicken cartoon via

Too............................

"....the lesson is not that we ought to seek out “regulation” to save us from the evils and incompetence of man. For the regulators are men too, and wield the very same evil and incompetence, only enshrined in an authority from which it can wreck amplified and far more insidious destruction. Let us not retreat from our rising platform only to cower back underneath the deranged machinations of Leviathan."
-as transcribed from this Samizdata blog post

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Close your eyes..............................

Boz Scaggs...................Look What You've Done To Me

 

Story time............................

                The Philosopher, the Ants, and Mercury

A philosopher witnessed from the shore a shipwreck of a vessel, of which the crew and passengers were all drowned.  He inveighed against the injustice of Providence, which would for the sake of one criminal perchance sailing in the ship allow so may innocent persons to perish.  As he was indulging in these reflections, he found himself surrounded by a whole army of Ants.  One of them climbed up and stung him, and he immediately trampled them all to death with his foot.  Mercury presented himself, and striking the Philosopher with his wand, said, "And are you indeed to make yourself a judge of the dealings of Providence, who hast himself in a similar manner treated these poor Ants?"

-as transcribed from Aesop's Fables

The price................................

One of the best pieces of advice I've ever heard goes something like this:  If you want success, figure out the price, then pay it....Successful people don't wish for success; they decide to pursue it.  And to pursue it effectively, they need a system.  Success always has a price, but the reality is that the price is negotiable.  If you pick the right system, the price will be a lot nearer what you're willing to pay.
-Scott Adams, as excerpted from How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big:  Kind of the Story of My Life

When capitalism works best...................

















"The roots of the market are not in our predatory instincts but in our social ones."
-Megan McArdle, The Up Side of Down:  Why Failing Well Is The Key To Success

cartoon via

Fifty years ago.........................

February 25, 1964:   Cassius Clay stuns the boxing world and wins the Heavyweight crown by defeating Sonny Liston via a TKO after the sixth round.  More on the story here.


Shades of Frederick Winslow Taylor....

Taylor, the "father" of "Scientific Management," surely would have approved of this advance:

"For example, after analyzing the vast amount of data gathered from drivers around the world, UPS’s sustainability team realized that left turns increased the company’s carbon footprint, because of the gas trucks wasted and the emissions they created while waiting for traffic lights to change. UPS’s chief sustainability officer recently revealed that by mapping routes that avoid left turns, the company saved 98 million minutes of idling time in 2011 alone, and the mile-reducing feature created a savings of nine million gallons of fuel."

Full story is here

thanks tyler

Frederick Winslow Taylor............

Frederick Winslow Taylor      1856-1915
























A few quotes attributed to Taylor:

"In the past the man has been first; in the future the system must be first. This in no sense, however, implies that great men are not needed. On the contrary, the first object of any good system must be that of developing first-class men."

"The principal object of management should be to secure the maximum prosperity for the employer, coupled with the maximum prosperity for each employee."

"Hardly a competent workman can be found who does not devote a considerable amount of time to studying just how slowly he can work and still convince his employer that he is going at a good pace."

"It is no single element , but rather it is this whole combination, that constitutes Scientific Management, which may be summarized as:  Science, not rule of thumb; Harmony, not discord; Cooperation, not individualism; Maximum output in place of restricted output; The development of each man to his greatest efficiency and prosperity."


A few quotes about Taylor:

"Frederick W. Taylor was the first man in recorded history who deemed work deserving of systematic observation and study. On Taylor's 'scientific management' rests, above all, the tremendous surge of affluence in the last seventy-five years which has lifted the working masses in the developed countries well above any level recorded before, even for the well-to-do. Taylor, though the Isaac Newton (or perhaps the Archimedes) of the science of work, laid only first foundations, however. Not much has been added to them since – even though he has been dead all of sixty years."
-Peter Drucker

"One of the hardest-to-down myths about the evolution of mass production at Ford is one which credits much of the accomplishment to 'scientific management.' No one at Ford—not Mr. Ford, Couzens, Flanders, Wills, Pete Martin, nor I—was acquainted with the theories of the 'father of scientific management,' Frederick W. Taylor. Years later I ran across a quotation from a two-volume book about Taylor by Frank Barkley Copley, who reports a visit Taylor made to Detroit late in 1914, nearly a year after the moving assembly line had been installed at our Highland Park plant. Taylor expressed surprise to find that Detroit industrialists 'had undertaken to install the principles of scientific management without the aid of experts.' To my mind this unconscious admission by an expert is expert testimony on the futility of too great reliance on experts and should forever dispose of the legend that Taylor's ideas had any influence at Ford."

Interesting paragraphs.........................

     From the quantum point of view, a zero-energy universe presents an interesting possibility, which Tryon seized upon.  Suppose the total energy of the universe is exactly zero.  Then, owing to the trade-off in uncertainty between energy and time (as decreed by the Heisenberg principle) the indeterminacy in its time span becomes infinite.  In other words, such a universe, once it popped into existence out of the void, could run away with itself and last forever.  It would be like a loan of pure being that need never be repaid.  As for what "caused" such a universe to pop into existence, that is simply a matter of quantum chance.  "In answer to the question of why it happened,"  Tryon later commented, "I offer the modest proposal that our universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time."
-Jim Holt,  Why Does The World Exist?:  An Existential Detective Story

Monday, February 24, 2014

Pour yourself a glass of wine.............

Duane Allman and Boz Scaggs.............Loan Me A Dime

 

There was just something about the 60's...

The Byrds...................................I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better

 

Truthfulness.............................


Rene Magritte        Clairvoyance (Self Portrait)         1936












“We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.”

-Pablo Piccaso

Explore............................................
















"Explore, and explore, and explore. Be neither chided nor flattered out of your position of perpetual inquiry. Neither dogmatise yourself, nor accept another's dogmatism. Why should you renounce your right to traverse the star-lit deserts of truth, for the premature comforts of an acre, house, and barn? Truth also has its roof, and bed, and board. Make yourself necessary to the world, and mankind will give you bread, and if not store of it, yet such as shall not take away your property in all men's possessions, in all men's affections, in art, in nature, and in hope."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Of dogs and man...........................
























“When I carefully consider the curious habits of dogs
I am compelled to conclude
That man is the superior animal.

When I consider the curious habits of man
I confess, my friend, I am puzzled” 


-Ezra Pound

thanks michael
Ed. Note:  This was originally queued up for 2/10/14, but friend David posted it a day earlier.  Apparently we both check in on the Journal of a Nobody.  Still, it is too good to pass up.

Fifty years ago...........................

On the TV.........................................................Flipper

 

Relationships.....................

Establishing, and keeping, the proper and healthy relationship between business and government may be the key to society's enduring prosperity.  Unfortunately, as history has shown, this balance has not proved easy to find or maintain.  The Economist, in this Special Report, is on the story.  Opening paragraphs here:

In the Middle Ages the Rhine was Europe's most important commercial waterway.  Like many modern highways, it was a toll route.  Toll points were meant to be approved by the Hole Roman Emperor, but local landowners often charged river traffic for passing through.  These "robber barons", as they became known, were a serious impediment to trade, and imperial forces had to take costly punitive action to remove them.
     The relationship between business and the state bears some resemblance to this medieval tussle.  Like those Rhine boatmen, the companies operating within national borders must pay something towards the cost of supporting commerce, but if tolls are excessive, trade will suffer.  At least some of the world's 200 or so countries will be tempted to act as robber barons, charging the equivalent of protection money to the companies they deal with.

Compass.........................























"Every man has to learn the points of compass again as often as be awakes, whether from sleep or any abstraction. Not till we are lost, in other words not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations."
-Henry David Thoreau

P. S. Speaking of compasses, bet you didn't know that Thoreau was an accomplished surveyor

The Inequality of Harrison Bergeron.....

Equality is much in the news these days.  Inequality is all that some politicians want to talk about.  If it is equality of opportunity that is the goal, I say go for it and God bless you.  If equality of outcome is what is sought, well - be careful what you wish for.  Kurt Vonnegut showed us how to accomplish that back in 1961 his wonderful short story, Harrison Bergeron.  Faithful readers of this blog will remember that this short story has been promoted before.  Some things need to be read more than once.  Full short story is here.    Opening paragraph is here:

"THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General."

All the proof you need that the real estate market has improved......................

Check out # 3 on the list of "Happiest Jobs" in America.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Nothing to explain............................

Gene Clark & Carla Olson....................................Gypsy Rider

Conviction.........................














"That deep emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God."
-Albert Einstein

Change.................................

















“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” 
-Søren Kierkegaard

Verse...............................

11   He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.

12  I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; 

13  moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor—it is the gift of God. 

14  I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him. 

Ecclesiastes 3:11-14
The Holy Bible
New American Standard version

Fifty years ago.................................

On the TV......................................The Twilight Zone

 

The Twilight Zone Theme song can be found here

Step........................................


















"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."

As the world turns....................


Settled science..........................